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.
Regretfully, Vonn’s crash might have cost teammate and rival Julia Mancuso a legitimate shot at defending her GS gold won at Turin in 2006. Mancuso had already begun her run when the course was yellow-flagged, since Vonn could not quickly extricate herself from the netting and exit the course.
Mancuso restarted in foggy, snowy conditions after 13 more skiers had shredded the soft course and finished 1.30 seconds out of first place entering the second run.
That run was delayed three times by fog and finally postponed until Thursday.
Today, upon finishing, Mancuso had a snit-fit in the corral; she threw a pole and collapsed in the snow for about 3 minutes before finally moping out of the corral’s exit. She refused to speak with the press, but Tweeted, ““I was flagged in GS, that is b------t! Well, now it’s time to use that anger and fight second run!!”
Meanwhile, Vonn said, “I know she was disappointed. She’s mad. Probably frustrated. And probably mad at me.”
Probably; Mancuso told Sports Illustrated this week that Vonn’s presence had created a “struggle for attention” among the ski team members, and any failure by Vonn cast a pall over the team.