The 2011-12 Audi FIS Alpine World Cup season kicked off over the weekend in Soelden, Austria, with Lindsey Vonn taking a familiar top spot on the podium, albeit in a discipline she had never won before.
Vonn earned her first career giant slalom win on what is considered one of the toughest courses on the calendar, becoming only the fifth woman in FIS World Cup history to post wins in all five World Cup disciplines.
“It has always been a goal for me to win in all five disciplines,” Vonn said after the race. “I’m very proud to have achieved it -- it means a lot! I have worked really hard to be fast in all events so it is great to see that my work has paid off.”
The win was Vonn’s 42nd career World Cup victory, tying her with Sweden’s Anja Paerson on the all-time WC wins list. She is the first American woman to win a giant slalom event since 1991.
“It’s fun to be already in the lead in the overall standings but the season is long,” Vonn commented. “Of course, it’s a great boost for my morale; [the season] could not have started better for me.”
“This season I plan to ski in all the races again. I was very motivated this summer during my training camps because I knew that it has become really crucial for my chances for the overall title.”
Vonn’s epic three-in-a-row overall title streak came to an end last season when friend and rival Maria Riesch captured the overall when the final race of the season had to be cancelled due to poor weather conditions. A mere three points separated the two skiers after an exciting season and a come-from behind performance from Vonn, who was still able to take the super G, downhill and super combined titles.
Next on Vonn's calendar is a World Cup slalom race in Levi, Finland on November 12.