Vonn: It is on!

             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.

             In fact, race officials acted perfectly. Mancuso backed off her critical comments today.

             Fog pushed the second GS run from yesterday afternoon until this morning. Mancuso finished eighth, 0.55 seconds behind unheralded Viktoria Rebensburg of Germany.

             That ended Mancuso’s Olympics, since she already has backed out of the slalom.

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