Lindsey Vonn made it three-for-three on a snowy Sunday in Lake Louise, Canada, winning the super-G, a World Cup victory that capped a spectacular weekend for her individually and, for that matter, the U.S. women’s team.
Vonn — just as she did last year — won all three races in Lake Louise. She won downhills Friday and Saturday. And then she won the super-G Sunday in 1:22.82.
The Lindsey Vonn statistics and numbers show can sometimes seem overwhelming because she is, without question, the finest American racer of all time. Here is just a taste: she became Sunday the first skier ever, male or female, to win three World Cup races at the same venue in two different seasons.
American teammate Julia Mancuso came in second Sunday, 43-hundredths behind. Austria’s Anna Fenninger took third, two-hundredths behind Mancuso.
Thus: Americans went 1-2 in all three races this year in Lake Louise. Vonn and Stacey Cook went 1-2 in both downhills. Another American, Leanne Smith, finished eighth Sunday, in 1:24.41. Laurenne Ross was 13th, and Cook 29th.
The victory Sunday moves Vonn into second in the women’s all-time World Cup wins list, with 56. Austria’s Annemarie Moser-Pröll leads with 62.
Ingemar Stenmark of Sweden is far and away the overall leader with 86 World Cup victories.
Just to make the top-three in the World Cup is difficult enough. Cook, for instance, made 150 World Cup starts before her two top-two downhill finishes this weekend.
It is a measure of how crazy good Vonn is to say that she had been tied with Swiss star Vreni Schneider for all of one day, with 55.
It is another measure of Vonn’s brilliance that about three weeks ago, she was in a Vail, Colo., hospital, with stomach pains. When she got out, she literally was having trouble walking from one end of her condo to the other.
“This weekend was a huge boost for my confidence,” she said. “I was definitely feeling extremely low after being in the hospital and my poor result in Aspen,” a reference to the tour stop last weekend, where she struggled — hardly a surprise — in the one event she ran, a giant slalom, visibly exhausted at the end.
“But I knew if there was a place to turn it around, it was Lake Louise. So I just tried to get myself every opportunity to rest and recover for the races this weekend.”
She also said, “Every athlete has their favorite hill where they feel confident and comfortable. I know the hill like the back of my hand and have confidence knowing I have won here in the past.”
More Vonn numbers:
She became the fourth female skier with 100 World Cup podiums. Moser-Pröll has 114; another great Austrian champion, Renate Götschl, has 110; Schneider, 101.
Vonn’s victory Sunday was her 14th in Lake Louise — 11 downhills, three super-Gs — and seventh straight on the mountain.
The seven straight wins is a women’s World Cup record for a single venue. The prior mark: six, held by Sweden’s Anja Paerson at Maribor, Slovenia.
The three wins moved Vonn up significantly in the overall 2012-13 World Cup standings. Slovenia’s Tina Maze leads with 397 points; Germany’s Maria Höfl-Riesch is second, with 319; Vonn now stands third, with 310.
Vonn won Sunday wire-to-wire.
She was ahead at the first interval by three-tenths of a second, then at the second — a section of the course that gave her trouble all weekend — by only three-hundredths. At the third, she had built her lead back up to 42-hundredths and pretty much kept it that way through her tuck through the finish.
Next week the tour heads to St. Moritz, Switzerland. Vonn won the downhill there last year by a second and a half, over Höfl-Riesch.
Six more downhills and seven more super-Gs await on the World Cup calendar.