For the second year in a row, Lindsey Vonn has earned a clean sweep at Lake Louise, Alberta, after winning both downhills and the super giant slalom. Vonn, whose recent request to race in the men's competitions was turned down, hopes that her continued dominance of the women's events may prompt reconsideration of the issue by skiing's world governing body.
"It's not like I'm getting 20th every day and saying I want to race the men," Vonn said. "I try to let my skiing speak for itself.
"I think this weekend was the next step for me and a testament to why I want to race with the men," she added.
The manner of her victory in Friday's downhill certainly added something to Vonn's claims, as she crushed the world-class field with a huge winning margin of 1.73 seconds.
"Honestly, it doesn't matter if I won by one tenth or one second," she said. "I think it definitely validates my cause a little bit more by winning by a larger margin, but it's just a win and that's all that matters to me."
Lindsey's success at Lake Louise was all the more remarkable since she had been suffering with an energy-sapping stomach illness that led to a brief stay in the hospital ahead of her arrival in Alberta.
"I was in a pretty rough place, sitting in a hospital bed [while] everyone was training and skiing fast, and Tina [Maze] is winning everything. I thought, 'Great. How am I supposed to get up and keep going? I have no training, I have no energy,'" she recalled. "I've never quite dealt with something like that before. I didn't know what was going to happen.
"I came up here trying to have a clean slate, giving myself every chance to do well and it turned around. This really sets me up well for the rest of the season. This is exactly the weekend I needed."
The hat-trick pushed Lindsey to 56 World Cup victories, which took her ahead of Switzerland's Vreni Schneider into second on the career win list. Vonn needs six more wins to match the 62 of Annamarie Moser-Proell of Austria as the skier with the most wins in women's World Cup history.