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Vonn completes another sweep at 'Lake Lindsey'


LAKE LOUISE — Lindsey Vonn is in a class by herself in women’s World Cup skiing at Lake Louise.

After winning both downhills, Vonn capped a sweep with a victory in Sunday’s super-G

The American ski star scored a hat trick at the Alberta resort for the second straight year after winning all three races in 2011.

Vonn brought her career wins at Lake Louise to 14.

Is that enough to prompt the world governing body of skiing to re-consider Vonn’s request to race the men’s World Cup there? Vonn would like to think so.

“It’s not like I’m getting 20th every day and saying I want to race the men,” Vonn said. “I try to let my skiing speak for itself.

“I think this weekend was the next step for me and a testament to why I want to race with the men.”

The U.S. women’s team had a banner weekend in the season-opening speed events. Julia Mancuso was second in Sunday’s super-G after Stacey Cook was runner-up to Vonn in both downhills.

Anna Fenninger of Austria was third Sunday. Larisa Yurkiw of Owen Sound, Ont., was the top Canadian in 25th.

Vonn felt pressure to win at Lake Louise this year. In October, the defending overall World Cup champion asked FIS to allow her to compete the men’s World Cup on the same mountain. FIS denied her request.

Vonn arrived in Alberta not feeling her best. The lingering affects from a stomach ailment that hospitalized her for two nights in November drained her energy.

She finished 21st in a giant slalom in Aspen, Colo., prior to her arrival in Lake Louise. Tina Maze of Slovenia jumped into the lead in the overall standings with a pair of giant slalom victories to start the season.

Vonn felt uncertain about how she would perform, but Lake Louise was once again “Lake Lindsey.”

“I was in a pretty rough place sitting in a hospital bed and everyone is training and skiing fast and Tina is winning everything and, ’Great. How am I supposed to get up and keep going? I have no training, I have no energy,”’ she recalled. “I’ve never quite dealt with something like that before. I didn’t know what was going to happen.

“I came up here trying to have a clean slate, giving myself every chance to do well and it turned around. This really sets me up well for the rest of the season. This is exactly the weekend I needed.”

Vonn rolled her eyes at Internet rumours that her hospitalization and stomach pains were due to pregnancy.

“Oh yeah. It’s awesome,” she said sarcastically. “Do I look pregnant? Maybe I had too much breakfast. People write crap all the time and I have to take it in stride.”

It’s not just her wins, but her margin of victory at Lake Louise that sets her apart.

Vonn beat the field in Friday’s season-opening downhill by 1.73 seconds. The difference between second and third that day was one hundredth of a second.

Despite a major slip halfway down the course, the 28-year-old from Burnsville, Minn., won again Saturday by .52 seconds. Vonn completed her sweep Sunday skiing .42 seconds clear of the field.

“Honestly, it doesn’t matter if I won by one tenth or one second,” she said. “I think it definitely validates my cause a little bit more by winning by a larger margin, but it’s just a win and that’s all that matters to me.”

With her super-G win back in 2010, Vonn is the first woman to string together seven straight wins at one venue. The previous record was six by Sweden’s Anja Paerson in Maribor, Germany.

 
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