With over 100 wins and over 190 podium appearances, Lindsey Vonn is one of the most decorated female skiers in the history of the sport. With her retirement in sight for the near future, there are two goals she would really like to achieve, the first is to make it to the 2018 Olympics and the second is to race against men in an Alpine World Cup event. Lindsey has wanted to race against men for almost a decade now, however, the first time she applied she was bluntly dismissed by officials.
“I know I’m not going to win [against men], but I would like to at least have the opportunity to try, I think I’ve won enough World Cups where I should have enough respect within the industry to be able to have that opportunity.”
– Lindsey Vonn told the Denver Post in January
Lindsey often trains against men with various national backgrounds and the unofficial times show that she is faster than some of the men. It’s true that this is not the same calibre as a World Cup race but it is still great training and shows good potential for some competition against the men. Vonn’s winning time at Lake Louise in 2015 was only three seconds slower than the winning men’s time, so why not let her race? Some people may think the idea of a female racing in a men’s event is ludicrous however you can’t argue that it would bring a lot of worldwide publicity to the sport. Vonn is not requesting that any of the rules or bylaws be changed, she simply just wants the opportunity to race against men at a one-off event.
Lindsey recognises that not every event would be relevant to race against men but Lake Louise is relevant. The United States Ski and Snowboard Association is submitting Lindsey’s request in the downhill event for late 2018. The one event where she wants to compete against men is at Canadian Resort, Lake Louise. Vonn has previously won this event numerous times and wants the opportunity to compete against men here as the women and men’s courses are very similar. The F.I.S. said on Wednesday that Lindsey’s proposal to compete in the men’s downhill race will be considered at its meeting in Zurich on October the 5th. Travis Ganong – American World Cup alpine ski racer – has suggested that while a race between Lindsey and male skiers may bring good publicity to the sport an exhibition event may be the better choice.