Vonn missed her goal of earning 2,000 points in a single season, but took the overall
globe with a 578-point winning margin.
Julia Mancuso, Viktoria Rebensburg and Marion Rolland top the super G podium
at World Cup finals in Schladming.
The U.S. women know speed
In Schladming, the U.S. women’s speed team put the finishing touches on another stellar season
as six American women landed in the top- 25 downhill rankings.
With 21 top- 10 finishes and eight podiums including five wins (all by Lindsey Vonn) the U.S. women
were the top national downhill team for the second consecutive year, collectively earning 1,417 points,
636 more than second-place Austria.
Led by Vonn with her fifth consecutive downhill title, Mancuso ended the season ranked fifth; Cook
was 10th, McKennis 20th, Ross 22nd and Smith 25th. McKennis, Ross and Smith all landed career-best downhill finishes. Vonn also led three top- 10 U.S. women in the “meaningless” final downhill in
winning by nearly a second. Mancuso took sixth, and McKennis finished in a career-high seventh
after an up-and-down season following a summer of rehabbing a broken leg.
“This is an amazing team with an incredible amount of talent,” said Vonn. “Julia has won downhills,
Stacey was in the top 10 almost all season, and it’s only a matter of time before Alice, Laurenne and
Leanne are fighting for podiums every race. I’m incredibly proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish this season.”
Mancuso, who had her best season in several years with top-five rankings in the overall, downhill
and super G standings, said the team’s mojo is fueled by their love of speed skiing. “Being fast is one
thing, but enjoying skiing and being fast is another,” said Mancuso, who recorded her sixth podium of
the season with a second-place finish in the Finals super G. “As a team, I think we do both. We love
skiing; we love being out on the mountain; we love traveling. That’s why we’re so comfortable spending more than half the year away from home. We love what we do.”
Stacey Cook, who had the best season of her career with six top- 10 finishes, said the team’s hard-working coaches made the difference.
“Our coaches deserve a lot of credit for having confidence in us and supporting us in ways that we
don’t really see,” said Cook. “Some mornings, they’re on the hill before we get out of bed. They believe in us and it helps us to believe in ourselves. It’s a special team.”
SkiRacing.com MARCH 26, 2012 | 26
Rolland’s day finally arrives
French 29-year-old Marion Rolland had started 84 World Cup races without a top-three result. After
showing signs of Cuche-esque late-blooming talent with a fifth-place result in the Sochi downhill, Rolland at Schladming finally found whatever she was previously missing, taking second in the downhill
and third in the super G.
“This podium is a great achievement and reward for all the work that has been done, a great way to
be paid back for all the effort,” Rolland told Fisalpine.com after the downhill. “I’ve been fighting hard,
and this performance makes me really happy. To be on the podium is something really special. Once
you’re there, you want to work even harder to get back there.”
She didn’t have to wait long — her next podium came in the following day’s super G.