When it was over, all the hype, all the promise, boiled down to two medals for covergirl and swimsuit model Lindsey Vonn.
She hit mushy snow, straddled an early gate and skied out of the first run of the slalom this morning, the third time in her five events she did not finish a course. She crashed on Wednesday in the first run of the giant slalom and, last week, did not finish the slalom portion of the super combined – her only apparent regret.
The U.S. ski team today confirmed that Lindsey Vonn will race tomorrow despite breaking her right pinky finger in a crash Wednesday that ended her first run in the Giant Slalom. A contender in all five events entering the Games, Vonn won the downhill, took bronze in the Super-G and washed out in the GS and the super-combined.
The location and severity of Vonn’s crash yesterday forced teammate Julia Mancuso to stop her (unimpressive) run two-thirds of the way through it. Mancuso, the defending gold medalist, happened to be scheduled to start right after Vonn. As was the protocol yesterday, Mancuso exited the start gate 1 minute behind Vonn, or right about the time Vonn crashed.
Mancuso re-started about 20 minutes and 13 skiers later and finished 1.30 seconds behind the leader of the first run, in 18th place. Mancuso bitterly complained about the race officials’ handling of the matter: about being allowed to start at all, about being stopped, about her transportation back to the top.
Following Bode Miller’s lead from yesterday, lovely Lindsey Vonn skied out of control and crashed near the end of her first giant slalom run, ending her day and, possibly, her Olympics. It was the second time Vonn, a medal contender in every race here, lost control and lost a race.
Vonn broke her right pinkie and banged her chin, knee and hip in the crash, injuries that might keep her out of the fifth and final race, the slalom, on Friday. She entered the Games with a bruised right shin that might have kept her from participating at all.
Vonn fought through that to win gold in the downhill and bronze in the super G, but she ran off the course in the super combined and, today crashed.