was the defending super G champ, Lindsey Vonn,
finishing seventh. The three-time overall World Cup
titleholder came into Garmisch five days after sustain-
ing a minor concussion while training, and didn’t like
what she found. “I think [the course] is too dangerous
for the women,” Vonn had told members of the media
at the opening press conference after a freeski on the
Kandahar slope. “It’s too icy, it’s unsafe. There are
already people crashing just in the warm-up runs. I’m
basically shocked by it, it’s unbelievable.”
Most racers, however, were able to maintain their grip
on the course. Though there were DNFs on the tough
slope, the majority came from skiers starting outside
the first seed, and the injury report was short and
lacking any serious damage. German Gina Stechert
broke the metacarpal bone of her right thumb and un-
derwent surgery later in the day in nearby Murnau.
Hours after the race, Vonn decided to pull out of
the next day’s downhill training run — a big decision
since the area is prone to fog, and the cancellation of
the second training run for any reason would mean
that Vonn would be ineligible for the super combined
and the chance to defend her downhill title.
“There is really no medicine that will make me feel
better, I just have to wait,” said a discouraged Vonn
after the race. “It is what it is, and I have to just wait
to see if I get better, that’s all I can do at this point. It’s
horrible. I think maybe it was the wrong decision to
even try to race today.”
Swiss racer Lara Gut finished fourth, Austrian Anna
Fenninger fifth and Italian World Jr. Champ Elena
U.S. racers Laurenne Ross and Leanne Smith post-
ed solid results in 16th and 19th, respectively.
Britt Janyk fronted the Canadian team in 15th ahead
of Marie-Michele Gagnon and Marie-Pier Prefontaine
in 22nd and 24th.
“There is really no medicine that will make me feel better,” said Vonn of her frustrating head injury.
Ski racing fans streamed into the stadium
for the opening race of World Champs.
Maria Riesch gave German
fans plenty to cheer about
with her third-place finish
in the super G.