Lindsey Vonn's chances in slalom and giant slalom
With less than a week left in the Olympics, here's the Lindsey Vonn scorecard:
Events entered: 3
Medals won: 2 (1 gold, 1 bronze)
Events remaining: 2
Events in which Vonn is a strong medal contender: 1
The final two women's alpine skiing events -- the giant slalom on Wednesday and the slalom on Friday -- are Vonn's weakest. She could medal in the slalom, but the giant slalom would be a surprise.
One needs only look to Vonn's comments in NBC's giant slalom preview to see how she views it.
[Vonn] admitted at the beginning of the season that she and her friend and skiing rival, Germany's Maria Riesch, once joked about dividing evenly the gold medals in four of the five events. Neither of these top female skiers have enjoyed any success at GS.
"That's our weakest event, so we're like, 'Maybe we'll let someone else win that one.' "
Downhill and super combined silver medalist Julia Mancuso is the better American bet in the giant slalom. Mancuso, who won gold in the event at the 2006 Turin Games, is likely to contend with Germany's Kathrin Holzl and Finland's Tanja Poutiainen for medals this time around.
Vonn is obviously more confident about her chances in slalom. In fact, her skiing career began with the event.
Lindsey Vonn, whose start in skiing came carving between gates at Buck Hill, a suburban St. Paul hill with a mere 300-foot drop, developed her niche in speed events. The Vail, Colo. native has improved in slalom over the years, however, capturing her first World Cup victory in the event in November 2008. A slight downturn in fortunes during the Olympic season, in part due to an arm injury sustained in Lienz, Austria in December, make her only an outside medal contender in slalom in Whistler.
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