Winter sports blog: Lindsey Vonn completes hat-trick of wins
Andrew Magee takes a look at all the latest news and views from the snow and ice on the winter sports circuit
Welcome to The Sport Review’s new winter sports blog, featuring all the latest news and views from the snow and ice. We’ll be catching up with the people on the piste as the winter sports circuit gets back under way.
Women’s Skiing – Winter Vonn-derland
Lindsey Vonn completed a remarkable hat-trick of victories at Lake Louise over the weekend, taking her personal tally at the Canadian resort to 11 career wins.
The American produced a stunning run on Friday to claim the first of two downhill victories, her time of 53.19 beat the rest of the field by a stunning 1.95s, a margin of victory that has only been surpassed by Austrian legend Annemarie Moser-PrÃ¶ll.
The 27-year-old followed that up with another downhill victory on Saturday and completed an extraordinary weekend with a third victory in Sunday’s Super G.
Vonn has completed a hat-trick once before, in Haus im Ennstall in 09/10, but this weekend’s performance was significant, given it was only last week that the American announced her divorce from husband Thomas.
“This is the best way for me to face the situation. I don’t read the papers but I know what the media are talking about,” she said.
“Skiing and competition are the best way to overcome my private situation. It was a tough week and this is exactly what I needed.
“A hat-trick is a rare thing to do, I felt like I skied better the previous days but a win is a win. Skiing is my best therapy, I love to ski fast, it’s what puts a smile on my face.”
Men’s Skiing – Miller Time
Bode Miller was back to his best as he won his first World Cup downhill in three years at Beaver Creek on Friday.
The 34-year-old clocked a time of 1:43.82 to claim his third downhill victory on the Birds of Prey course, having previously won in 2004 and 2006.
The American, who has now won 33 World Cup events, felt his run on Friday represented some of his finest ever skiing.
“I’m not afraid to say that it’s a miracle what I pulled out to do on the pitch today,” he said.
“One out of three times, you try to do it and it works, but one time you end up in the nets and the other time at the hospital.
“On this hill, it’s a true test, technically. I skied as well as I ever skied.”
Swiss Sandro Viletta claimed victory in Saturday’s Super G while Austria’s Marcel Hirscher beat the USA’s Ted Ligety on his home snow to win Sunday’s Giant Slalom.
Norway’s Aksel Lund Svindal claimed top ten positions in all three races to climb to the top of the overall standings while Switzerland’s Beat Feuz finished on the podium in both the Super G and the downhill to climb to third.
Britain’s Dougie Crawford finished 55th in the Super G while teammate TJ Baldwin came 64th in the downhill.
Skeleton World Cup
Russia’s Olga Potylitsina claimed her first ever World Cup victory in the first event of the Viessmann FIBT Skeleton World Cup Tour in Igls, Austria on Friday.
The Russian put in a blistering second run to claim gold with a time of 1:49.39, beating Australia’s Emma Lincoln-Smith who came second ahead of Canadian Mellissa Hollingsworth.
Britain’s Amy Williams, taking part in her first full season since winning Olympic gold in Vancouver, could only take 12th.
Teammate Shelley Rudman, a silver medallist at the 2006 Olympics in Turin, fared better, taking 5th.
Rudman said on Twitter: “Well, with 2 very messy runs I finished 5th today. Not on my usual form, but to be within shouting distance of the podium is ok considering!”
Bobsled World Cup
Russia’s four-man bobsleigh team claimed victory in the first event of FIBT Bob World Cup Tour in Igls, Austria on Sunday.
Alexsandr Zubkov, an Olympic silver medallist in 2006, steered his sled to gold with an overall time of 1:43.05, beating the USA by just two hundredths of a second, despite the USA putting down the fastest run of the day in their second slide.
Germany finished third, with a team that included Thomas Florschuetz and Kevin Kuske, who won the two-man event on Saturday.
Curling – Swept Away
Scotland’s women’s curling team is enjoying mixed fortunes on the ice after a suffering big defeat in just their second game at the European Championships in Moscow.
The side came from behind to beat Norway 8-6 in their first game on Saturday but were then thrashed 12-2 by Denmark, who needed only six ends to complete the victory.
The side lost their third game to Sweden on Sunday but recovered to beat the Czech Republic before defeating Germany on Monday.
On the Men’s side of the draw, Scotland survived a late fight-back on day one to beat Italy 6-5 before beating Switzerland and losing to Germany on day two.
On Monday they recovered to beat reigning champions Norway 8-7 but then lost their fifth game 5-8 to the Czech Republic.
The round robin matches continue until Thursday, with the finals both played this Saturday.
And finally: Our winter wonder fact of the week
It may come as no great surprise to hear that Sweden are fairly proficient at winter sports. One of their greatest Olympians is Gillis GrafstrÃ¶m, a figure skater who enjoyed great success in the 1920s, and here he is in 1928, sporting some rather fetching trousers and a nice tie – smart lad – however, he retains an unusual distinction.
GrafstrÃ¶m is one of only two athletes to have won a gold medal at both the Summer and Winter Olympics but, bizarrely, he has done so in the same sport. GrafstrÃ¶m won his first Olympic gold in 1920 at the Summer Olympics in Antwerp, when figure skating was part of the Olympic programme, before collecting two more golds in 1924 in Chamonix (the first ever Winter Olympics) and in 1928 in St Moritz. He also added silver to his collection in 1932 at Lake Placid.
Women’s World Cup Overall Standings
1 Lindsey Vonn (USA) 422 points
2 Viktoria Rebensburg (Germany) 286 points
3 Elisabeth Goergl (Austria) 243 points
4 Anna Fenninger (Austria) 203 points
5 Maria Hoefl-Riesch (Germany) 181 points
6 Julia Mancuso (USA) 169 points
7 Lara Gut (Switzerland) 167 points
8 Dominique Gisin (Switzerland) 159 points
9 Tina Weirather (Liechtenstein) 150 points
10 Maria Pietilae-Holmner (Sweden) 125 points
Men’s World Cup Overall Standings
1 Aksel Lund Svindal (Norway) 294 points
2 Didier Cuche (Switzerland) 260 points
3 Beat Feuz (Switzerland) 246 points
4 Bode Miller (USA) 197 points
5 Ted Ligety (USA) 189 points
6 Hannes Reichelt (Austria) 182 points
7 Klaus Kroell (Austria) 157 points
8 Kjetil Jansrud (Norway) 145 points
9 Marcel Hirscher (Austria) 140 points
10 Johan Clare (France) 116 points