How much does size matter for Vonn?
During a recent World Cup event, Austrian coaches claimed that Vonn's staggering success in downhill events was a direct reflection of her weight (she is 5 feet 10 inches tall and weighs 160 pounds). They argued that her size and the fact that she uses men's skis give her an unfair advantage over her generally smaller competitors.
"I think it's just pretty ridiculous," Vonn said. "It definitely irritated me. It definitely gave me a little extra motivation on race day. I think, in all fairness, I think it was exaggerated on part of the journalists. As a woman, I kind of want to drop the subject, if I can.
"To me, I pride myself on my work ethic. I know how hard I work in the gym. I give everything to my sport. I work really hard, and for someone to say I'm overweight is just ridiculous in my mind. . . . You have to be powerful and agile, and if weight were the key to success in ski racing, then everyone would be stuffing their face with food."
Many who defend Vonn point to her success in disciplines other than speed events, such as slalom, as evidence that skill, rather than size, is the reason for her dominance.
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