Lindsey Vonn, who sped past limits to top of ski racing (and sometimes flew into safety nets, as she did again in her penultimate race), is coming to a stop

Lindsey Vonn, who sped past limits to top of ski racing (and sometimes flew into safety nets, as she did again in her penultimate race), is coming to a stop

I am not a skier.  So, when I began intermittently writing about the sport in the 1980s, I had no first-hand appreciation of the speeds top Alpine ski racers reached – and the danger that sped along with them.

Television didn’t help, because the head-on camera angle does not provide a frame of reference.  And you could tell me they were hitting 75 miles per hour, but I had no perspective on what that meant until the 1989 World Championships in Vail, Colo.

One day during women’s downhill training, I hiked partway up the side of the final pitch to the finish.  From that vantage point, with the skiers coming past me rather than coming at me, as they did when I stood in the media area at the finish, it was very clear how fast they were moving.  Frighteningly fast.

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Holding your breath as Vonn chases history by skiing right on the edge of crazy (and thoughts on other things Olympic, including 2024, Nathan Chen & Evgenia Medvedeva)

Holding your breath as Vonn chases history by skiing right on the edge of crazy (and thoughts on other things Olympic, including 2024, Nathan Chen & Evgenia Medvedeva)

1.  Los Angeles has an excellent 2024 Olympic bid.  So does Paris.  So the idea of having the International Olympic Committee vote in September for both 2024 and 2028 rather than just 2024 makes absolute sense.  If both bids get to the day of reckoning in Peru, neither deserves to lose.

No one knows how the mechanics of an unprecedented IOC two-for-one deal might go.  It carries the slight risk of a huge upset if, as expected, the vote for 2028 would occur after that for 2024, because there is a third 2024 finalist, Budapest.

Sure, it is a) highly unlikely that Budapest could beat either Paris or L.A. head-to-head; and b) if Paris gets 2024, marking the centennial of its last Olympics, it is also unlikely that the IOC would choose to put two straight Summer Games in Europe (that hasn’t happened since 1948-52.)

Paris 2024 – LA 2028 is the best scenario, since it assures the Xenophobe-in-Chief will be out of office when Los Angeles is host – even if there is a chance the U.S. president who follows Trump will be equally deplorable.  (Or more deplorable, if that is possible.)

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Older, wiser Lindsey Vonn finding less risk can bring more reward

Older, wiser Lindsey Vonn finding less risk can bring more reward

Three weeks ago, when Lindsey Vonn was tearing up the Alpine ski circuit and still keeping her oft-battered body intact, I spoke with her on the phone to gather information for a story to appear before the World Cup finals in mid-March.

We talked about several things.

*The loneliness of months on the road that led her to get a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel puppy, Lucy, now five months old, as a travel companion.

*The slow rebuilding of confidence after her two extensive knee surgeries in 2013.

*The pride she is taking in consistently winning and breaking records.

*Risk management.

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