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Vail celebrates Vonn's first-ever downhill gold by an American woman


Vail celebrates Vonn's first-ever downhill gold by an American woman

By David O. Williams

February 18, 2010 —  WHISTLER, British Columbia - It was an incredible, sunny day Wednesday at Whistler Creekside, where for only the second or third time in the last three weeks I had to break out my sunglasses.

The sun came out, the skies cleared overnight, Franz's Run froze solid, and Ski and Snowboard Club Vail product Lindsey Vonn ripped off the run of her life to nail down another Olympic medal for a Vail Valley skier - this time a gold in the downhill.

Vonn, sponsored by Vail Resorts, among others, joins mogul skier and Vail native Toby Dawson, who won a bronze at the Torino Games in 2006.

Now the pressure is off Vonn and the U.S. Ski Team, which also had 2006 giant slalom gold medalist Julia Mancuso climb on the podium Wednesday for a silver.

American alpine skiers in just two medal events so far have collected three medals (Bode Miller got bronze in downhill Monday), which surpasses their entire take for the 2006 Games, where the goal was eight but the result was just two.

Eight could happen here, with Vonn, Mancuso and Miller slated to race several more times, and 2006 combined gold medalist Ted Ligety still to come.

I have to say I had couple of good days here, getting up on Whistler mountain Tuesday afternoon just as the clouds burned off and skiing some incredible powder up high off the Peak Express chair.

Now I see what all the fuss is about when it comes to Whistler. The terrain is sick, the snow is creamy and very skiable up high, and the views are absolutely stunning. Then on Wednesday it all cleared off, froze up and allowed Vonn and Mancuso to dominate a run that rocked some of the world's top skiers.

There were numerous spectacular crashes, including superstar Anja Paerson, but Vonn and Mancuso absolutely crushed it. Vonn said she didn't ski perfectly, but her mistakes up high were minor, especially given her shin injury. Amazing stuff.

Speaking of, Vail Resorts is trying to give locals who couldn't make it to the Games a chance to enjoy the action. Here's a release on Lindsey Vonn celebrations coming up today and throughout the weekend in Vail:

Vail Resorts and the entire Vail community offer their heartfelt congratulations to hometown hero and now Olympic champion, Lindsey Vonn. A ski resort community steeped in ski racing tradition, Vail is celebrating both Vonn’s gold medal run as well as teammate Julia Mancuso’s silver medal finish in the Women’s Downhill event tonight with “Vail Comes to Vancouver,” a festive outdoor street party and viewing of NBC’s prime time race coverage on a jumbotron screen.

“We are absolutely thrilled for Lindsey and the entire Vail community, her hometown, is celebrating in her honor tonight. We could not be prouder of Lindsey - she truly embodies the Vail spirit with her perseverance in the face of adversity, dedication and hard work, and commitment to excellence - both on and off the snow,” said Rob Katz, chairman and chief executive officer of Vail Resorts.

Vonn fans can follow Lindsey through her ski racing career this past year via The site provides the most detailed background and insider’s view of Vonn’s endeavors this ski season including more than 20 webisodes and interviews with Vonn chronicling her successful ski career and season to date on the World Cup circuit. The weekly webisodes give fans an insightful perspective on Vonn’s dedication and drive to becoming a World Champion from preparing and training for World Cup events in her hometown Vail to pre-season ski fitness sessions in the gym and World Cup race footage as well other unique surprises about Lindsey, including being an owner of three cows and a goat.

Vail Mountain has supported Vonn throughout her career and Vonn now represents all five of Vail Resorts’ world-class mountain resorts–Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone and Heavenly.

Thursday, Feb. 18
4:30 p.m. - Village Opens
7:30 - 10:30 p.m. - Women’s Super Combined

Saturday, Feb. 20
4:30 p.m. - Village Opens
7 - 10:30 p.m. - Women’s Super G

Friday, Feb. 26
4:30 p.m. - Village Opens
7 - 10:30 p.m. - Women’s Slalom



Comment on article  1 Comment on "Vail celebrates Vonn's first-ever downhill gold by an American woman"


Minnesota claims Lindsey! — February 18, 2010

Hey Vail-- we love you and ski out there every chance we get! But Lindsey's original hometown is Burnsville, Minnesota and she first learned the ropes at little old Buck Hill; just wanted you to know that we are celebrating back here, too! Cheers!



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