CORTINA D'AMPEZZO, Italy (Jan. 18, 2015) - With a powerful run through sunshine and fog, Lindsey Vonn (Vail, CO) etched her name into the ski racing history book, winning her 62nd career Audi FIS Ski World Cup at the Cortina downhill by .32 over Austria's Elisabeth Goergl. The win by Vonn matched the seemingly unbeatable record of 62 World Cup wins set by Austrian great Annemarie Moser-Proell that had stood for 35 years.
"It’s a pretty special moment for me," said Vonn, whose parents were in Cortina. "These records mean a lot to me and my family."
After two days of snowfall, a patchwork of clouds against the blue sky were mixed with bands of fog on the Olympia delle Tofane course in the 1956 Olympic city of Cortina d'Ampezzo. Vonn took the early lead coming off a steep face into a band of fog and kept it through the finish, building continually down the course on which she had won seven times previously. It was the same day on which 11 years ago a 19-year-old then Lindsey Kildow scored her first World Cup podium, finishing third in the Cortina downhill.
Vonn skis to her 62nd World Cup win in Cortina. (Getty Images-AFP/Alberto Pizzoli)
Many thought that Moser-Proell's string of 62 wins from 1970-1980 would never be broken.
"When I won my first podium here I never thought I would make it this far in my career," said Vonn. "That was the first time I thought I could be a contender. Never in a million years would I have believed I could tie the record."
Vonn was a little shaky out of the start, but quickly found her rhythm in the soft snow. "The snow was really soft and I’m not good when it’s soft. I’m from Minnesota and we used to race on ice. i wasn’t very fast on the top." Her biggest challenge came from Austrian Elisabeth Goergl running two racers later. Goergl jumped out to a lead and looked to challenge, but didn't have the speed Vonn had coming into the finish.
Five Americans finished in the top 18 including Laurenne Ross (Bend, OR) in ninth, Alice McKennis (Glenwood Springs, CO) 11th, Stacey Cook (Mammoth Mountain, CA) 16th and Julia Mancuso (Squaw Valley, CA) 18th. It was McKennis' best finish of her injury comeback season.
- Lindsey Vonn has a solid lead in the Audi FIS Ski World Cup downhill standings, 358-233 over Tina Maze of Slovenia.
- Universal Sports Network will carry same-day coverage at 10:00 a.m. and 10:30 p.m. EST.
- A final super G is scheduled for Monday in Cortina.
- 62 World Cup wins in 174 starts
- First podium Jan. 25, 1969 in St. Gervais, France finishing second in downhill, in what was also her first World Cup start, at age 15
- First World Cup win Jan. 17, 1970 in Maribor slalom at age 16
- Final World Cup win Jan. 16, 1980 in Arosa combined
- 113 World Cup Podiums
- 62 World Cup wins in 332 starts
- First World Cup start Nov. 18, 2000 in Park City slalom at age 16
- First World Cup podium Jan. 18, 2004, finishing third in Cortina downhill at age 19
- First World Cup win Dec. 3, 2004 in Lake Louise downhill at age 20
- 107 World Cup podiums
Vonn grins on top of the podium in Cortina. (Getty Images-AFP/Alberto Pizzoli)
It’s a pretty special moment for me and my family. It’s similar to the Olympics. These records mean a lot to me and my family.
The last two years have been pretty tough. A lot of people counted me out. I never stopped believing in myself.
When I won my first podium here I never thought I would make it this far in my career. That was the first time I thought I could be a contender. Never in a million years would I have believe I could tie the record.
The snow was really soft and I’m not good when it’s soft. I’m from Minnesota and we used to race on ice. i wasn’t very fast on the top.
Having a World Championships at home is something that does’t happen often in your career.
I think 62 is more important to me. Now I feel like from here on out I’m already tied for number one and will continue to win races. I just want to do my best. Now I’m just focused on doing the best I can.