Lindsey Vonn with her downhill and super-G World Cup crystal globes // photo Getty Images

Lindsey Vonn with her downhill and super-G World Cup crystal globes // photo Getty Images

Skiing

Lindsey Vonn’s first next chapter

It was long ago the case that Lindsey Vonn became the best alpine skier the United States ever produced.

Now, as this season’s racing draws to a close, with Vonn on a not-really-100 percent right knee, she has written a fascinating first next chapter to the ongoing story that is her singular career.

Tiger Woods in the ski mask, all incognito-like in a skeleton-patterned ski mask, in the finish area at Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy // photo Getty Images

Tiger Woods in the ski mask, all incognito-like in a skeleton-patterned ski mask, in the finish area at Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy // photo Getty Images

Olympics

Kobe, Tiger, Lindsey, Rita, First Amendment and more

A quick quiz. How are Kobe Bryant and I alike? For starters, let’s count the ways in which we’re not: he makes $25 million a year, has a cool nickname — Black Mamba — along with a way better jump shot and can dunk. The world has to be different for people who can dunk. I wouldn’t know.

That two-handed dunk Wednesday night, in the second quarter of the Los Angeles Lakers’ loss (another loss) to the New Orleans Pelicans, apparently proved too much. Like me — aha! — he has a bad right shoulder. Him: torn rotator cuff. Me: torn labrum. Me: surgery last Thursday (thank you, Dr. Keith Feder). Kobe: got examined Friday, and now will be examined again Monday, probably out for the season if he, too, needs surgery.

Lindsey Vonn, flanked by Stacey Cook, left, and Julia Mancuso on the podium after the Lake Louise downhill // photo Getty Images

Lindsey Vonn, flanked by Stacey Cook, left, and Julia Mancuso on the podium after the Lake Louise downhill // photo Getty Images

Skiing

Second race back: Lindsey Vonn wins

Lindsey Vonn won Saturday. Improbably, maybe, but only if you don’t know Lindsey Vonn, who is as mentally tough as they come.

That she won is good — obviously — for her. Better, it’s good for the U.S. team, for alpine skiing and for Olympic sports, because the Olympic world needs stars and Lindsey Vonn is a big star, arguably the biggest in all of winter sports, even though she didn’t even ski at the Sochi Olympics.

Ted Ligety, left, and Germany's Felix Neureuther after crashing out in Run 2 of the slalom // photo Getty Images

Ted Ligety, left, and Germany's Felix Neureuther after crashing out in Run 2 of the slalom // photo Getty Images

Skiing

U.S. alpine: five is plenty fine

KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia — There were a couple hours Saturday evening when it seemed possible the U.S. alpine ski team — already with a performance here at the Sochi 2014 Olympics that history will judge as fine, indeed— might, just might, sneak away with what would amount to a bonus medal.

After Run 1 of the men’s slalom, Ted Ligety, winner three days ago of the giant slalom, had put himself in position for a medal. He was only 11-hundredths back of third.