Top 10 finish for Vonn but she still can't figure out Aspen

By Troy Hooper
Real AspenNovember 28, 2010
American superstar Lindsey Vonn just can't figure out Aspen Mountain.

She and her teammates come here every year but never reach the podium. Kristina Koznick was the last American to do it when she won the bronze in slalom at the Aspen Winternational held in 2004. The last American woman to win gold on Aspen Mountain was Tamara McKinney in giant slalom in 1981.

Lindsey Vonn talks to Real Aspen after placing eighth at the Winternational.
Troy Hooper

“It's just a hard hill you know. For me I feel like no matter how many times I ski on it, it's always just as challenging as the last time,” she told Real Aspen on Sunday after coming up short in the slalom. “It's a hill that never quits. You have to attack it from top to bottom. For me slalom and giant slalom are my weakest events, so I wasn't coming here trying to win. It's the nature of the beast. This hill is tough.”

Even so, Vonn finished eighth and scored some points in the overall FIS World Cup standings. That's better than she can say about Saturday when she skied off course and failed to reach the final.

“I'm really happy with today,” she said. “You know it was pretty disappointing yesterday. I just wanted to come out and have two solid runs. Yesterday I was expecting too much. I was too excited. And I just tried to go too aggressive. Today I finally just relaxed and had two solid runs. It may not have been the fastest skiing that I've ever done but I'm in the top 10. It's really good points so I'm really happy.”

The Europeans continued their domination in Aspen — a phenomenon that Vonn attributes to the low expectations and anonymity that several of the women World Cup winners in Aspen seem to share.

Katie Martin and Cara Lemmage of Minneapolis, Minn., cheer on Lindsey Vonn at the slalom race in Aspen.
Troy Hooper

“There are different faces you see coming to the podium in Aspen. It's great to see the new faces. … It's good for the sport. The Euros come here with no pressure and they just attack and have good results.”

Maria Pietilae-Holmner of Sweden distanced herself from the competition with a combined time of 1:46:19. Maria Riesch of Germany secured silver. Tanja Poutiainen of Finland procured the bronze.

Vonn thanked all of the fans that came to Aspen to support her and her teammates.

“It was a really great crowd and great race. Unfortunately we didn't finally get a win here but there's always hope for next year.”

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