Lindsey Vonn skied nearly two seconds faster than anyone else in
both downhill races in Lake Louise.
Laurenne Ross takes on the scenic Lake Louise course before
a scary crash.
Lindsey Vonn winning in Lake Louise is almost getting
boring — almost.
Since notching her first World Cup victory on the picturesque
mountain in the middle of Banff National Park in 2004, the 27-
year-old has racked up 17 podiums and 11 victories at Lake
Louise, leaving room for only five sub-top-three results in 22
starts. She has officially done it all now, with an early Decem-
ber sweep of all three World Cup races —two downhills and
a super G.
And nail-biters they were not. If you add up how far ahead she
was of each of the three second-place finishers, Vonn skied
3.82 seconds faster than anyone else on the weekend.
The FIS might as well put the hill’s nickname —Lake Lind-
sey — on the official schedule next year; her competition will
pencil it in anyway.
The third win of the weekend, her career 45th World Cup
victory, put Vonn one first-place finish behind Austrian great
Renate Goetschl. Vonn also broke Goetschl’s record (nine
wins in Cortina) of most wins in one location.
No one can touch Vonn at Lake Louise and no one really
knows why. Not even the five-foot, 10-inch, rock-solid racer
“I don’t know where I found the speed,” said Vonn with a
laugh. “The training runs went well; nothing spectacular. The
first run, I had a lot of motivation and wanted to really attack.
I got to the finish and I could honestly not believe that I was
two seconds in the lead.”
The downhill wins weren’t just wins; she dominated with 1.95-
second and 1.68-second advantages. “I think it was a com-
bination of having fast skis and not making any mistakes,”
Vonn said simply. “I think I’ve only won by over a second two
Though Vonn said the races couldn’t have gone better, she
also described the week as tough. Just two days before the
first training run in Lake Louise, Vonn pulled out of the Aspen
slalom with a sore back and announced that she would split
from her husband of four years and longtime coach, Thom-
as Vonn. Fans and racing analysts wondered if the Olympic
downhill champion would have it in her to once again rule up
“This has been the biggest test for me personally and men-
tally that I’ve had in my life so far and I think I proved to myself
as well as everyone else that I can ski well under the most ex-
treme circumstances,” said Vonn, adding that skiing downhill
is her therapy. “It’s something that I will take with me for the
rest of my career, that I am capable of overcoming things like
that, it just gives me more personal strength.”
Not only was Vonn facing personal strife, but she was also
returning to the place where her only recent flinch in Lake
Louise may have very well cost her a fourth consecutive over-
all globe last season. One year ago, Vonn’s friend, German
Maria Hoefl-Riesch, broke up Vonn’s string of five consecu-