After battling back from a 2013 injury, Alice McKennis opted to skip most of the 2014 Olympic season in order to get 100-percent healthy for 2015, when the World Championships will be on Colorado snow. (Photo: Mitchell Gunn/ESPA)
Three U.S. women will contend for two remaining start positions for Friday's women's downhill. Training opens Monday on Raptor.
Laurenne Ross led the USA in 12th at the final Audi FIS Ski World Cup downhill before the World Championships.
Lindsey Vonn etched her name into the history books of her sport, winning her 62nd career Audi FIS Ski World Cup in the Cortina downhill.
Battling some bad luck this week, the ladies are ready to attack Bad Kleinkirchheim, with Lindsey Vonn hungry for her 62nd win to tie the all-time World Cup win record.
A Day with the Speed Unicorns
What's life like on the road with the Audi FIS Ski World Cup tour? Let's follow the Speed Unicorns for a day.
Lindsey Vonn won her 61st career Audi FIS Ski World Cup Saturday in the Val d'Isere downhill, placing her just one win away from matching the all-time record of 62.
Lindsey Vonn won the Lake Louise downhill on Saturday, with Stacey Cook in second and Julia Mancuso in third, for the first ever all-American podium in ski racing history.
A strong U.S. Ski Team women's speed squad is ready for the Audi FIS Ski World Cup season opener Friday, making the return of Olympic Champion Lindsey Vonn
It was a strong day for the USA in the opening training run of the Audi FIS Ski World Cup downhill in Lake Louise, headlined by strong runs from Lindsey Vonn and Alice McKennis, both returning from multiple knee injuries.
"Wearing a proper-fitting helmet goes a long way towards helping to protect youth athletes against head injuries," says Alice McKennis.
After a successful 18 years of coaching with the U.S. Alpine Ski Team, women’s speed Head Coach Chip White will step aside following the Audi FIS Alpine World Cup Finals this week.
Alice McKennis (Glenwood Springs, CO), winner of the Audi FIS Alpine World Cup downhill in St. Anton just a year ago, has strategically decided to forgo a shot at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games.
Every Olympic year, the U.S. Olympic Committee holds Media Summit, an event where media from around the world can hear from all of the top American athletes in one place. (Photo: Sarah Brunson/USSA)
The legacy of the Vail Valley as a world renowned Audi FIS Alpine World Cup venue gained additional power and grace Friday as the 2015 World Champs Organizing Committee introduced "Raptor" as the name of the newly constructed women's speed track.
Alice McKennis Quick Facts
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Formerly coached by four-time Olympian Casey Puckett, Alice McKennis knows a thing or two about speed events. Her resume speaks for itself with a World Cup downhill win, multiple World Cup super G top 10's, and a 20th in the World Cup DH standings as well as a spot on the 2010 Olympic Team during her rookie World Cup season.
McKennis is still feeling the affects of her March 2013 crash in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany that shattered her right tibial plateau into about 30 pieces. She attempted a comeback for the 2014 Sochi Olympic Winter Games, but after a few mediocre NorAm races and one World Cup start, she listened to her body and called it a season.
The next step for McKennis was to get the hardware out of her leg and completely focus on getting strong for the 2015 season, when the World Championships will be hosted in her home state. It's a recovery road she's walked before. Just a few years prior, she had a similar injury on her left leg. Experience in injury recovery counts. If McKennis can go from the knife to the top of the World Cup podium once, she can do it again.
I have pushed everything as hard as I could to get back on snow, pushed myself to get back in gates and racing months before anyone anticipated, but one thing I can no longer push is my body. I have reached a point where the issues in my leg, caused by the plate and 11 screws in my leg, are preventing me from reaching the level of skiing I need to be at to be a contender this season and to be part of the Olympic team.
As much as I want to continue racing this season and risk everything, I have realized that my career and life aren’t just about Sochi. I have many years of ski racing left and a career I hope to have in the ski industry when I retire, and it does not make sense to put everything on the line for something I am not ready for.
OFF THE SNOW
WORLD CUP (highlights)