After tearing two ligaments in her right knee and breaking a leg bone at a World Cup race last February, Vonn resumed her racing at this Canadian resort that is a personal favorite of hers.
Tentatively tackling these slick slopes, while testing her recently reinjured knee, Vonn renewed her quest for Olympics glory by competing in her first of two downhill races on Friday. The Vancouver Olympics downhill gold medalist conservatively skied lines to a 40th place (1:59.22) – a full three seconds behind her friend, winner Maria Hoefl-Riesch of Germany (1:56.03).
Vonn reflected, "I was just too nervous and tight. Tomorrow is going to be a different story for me. I will hopefully be able to be much more relaxed and confident to ski more aggressively, more like myself."
Sure enough, regaining her mojo, she seized the course in the second downhill Saturday and raced to an impressive 11th spot (1:56.35) , this time within striking distance of the podium that was once more owned by Hoefl-Riesch (1:55.09).
“Today's performance is a great step forward,” she said. “I still made a couple of mistakes but I'm really happy with the run I put together today. It gives me confidence for sure to bring into tomorrow's race.”
Changing gears, Vonn competed in today’s super G, an event that she won the bronze in at the Vancouver Games. With very little rest, she gutted out an inspiring 1:23.71 run en-route to a phenomenal fifth place, behind this season’s world cup leading Lara Gut of Switzerland, who won with a 1:22.86 clocking.
"A perfect way to end the weekend. I have a lot of self-confidence now. Every day I got more and more aggressive, more confident and I feel great, said Vonn.
She will further test her mind and body at next weekend’s FIS World cup super G and giant slalom races in Val D’Isere, France.
Follow me on Twitter as I cover everything Winter Olympic!