Lindsey Vonn Wins World Cup Downhill Title
(CNN) -Two years ago Lindsey Vonn suffered heartbreak when the weather gods robbed her of skiing’s prestigious World Cup overall title.
Fast-forward to 2013 and it is Vonn’s turn to thank the elements as the American has been handed the World Cup downhill crown for a record sixth year in a row — despite being sidelined with a serious knee injury.
She held off Slovenia’s Tina Maze by just a single point after bad fog forced the abandonment of the season’s final downhill race in Lenzerheide in Switzerland on Wednesday.
Vonn wrote on her Facebook page: “Omg I won the World Cup Downhill title!!!!! 6 in a row with a bum knee! Everything in life comes back around. #believe #karma #onelegvictorydance #sochi2014.”
The Sochi hashtag is a reference to next February’s Winter Olympics in Russia, where the 28-year-old hopes to defend her downhill gold from Vancouver 2010.
She has now won 17 Crystal Globes — handed out for the overall title and each of the six disciplines competed for each season. It puts her two short of male skiing legend Ingemar Stenmark, who holds the record of 19.
Vonn was airlifted to hospital on the opening day of February’s world championships at Schladming, Austria, where she suffered a torn ACL and MCL in her right knee and a lateral tibial plateau fracture after crashing in the super G race.
After losing out to Maria Hofl-Riesch by just three points in agonizing circumstances following the cancellation of her race in 2011, Vonn was understandably thrilled with her latest success.
It had looked unlikely with overall World Cup champion Maze expected to overturn the one-point deficit, but fog at the bottom section of the racecourse forced a cancellation.
Going into the final event, Vonn led the standings with 340 points despite missing the preceding races at Meribel and Garmisch, with Maze right behind her.
Hofl-Riesch ended up third and Vonn’s U.S. teammate Stacy Cook was fourth.
Maze took to Twitter to congratulate Vonn, writing: “I guess the DH globe belongs to someone else, Congratulation Lindsey! What goes around comes around!”
Vonn overtook Annemarie Moser-Proll, who won five consecutive downhill titles between 1971-75 on her way to seven globes in the discipline. Vonn also eclipsed the Austrian’s 16 globes.
In the men’s World Cup, Aksel Lund Svindal was declared downhill champion after Wednesday’s event was called off.
The Norwegian, who has now won nine globes during his career, boasted a 58-point advantage over defending champion Klaus Kroll of Austria going into Finals week.
Svindal’s victory makes him just the seventh man in the sport’s history to win the downhill and super-G titles in the same season.
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