Ilka Stuhec successfully defends downhill gold in Åre
Course workers and slip crews were busy to getting the ladies' racetrack ready following overnight snowfall for the downhill race which ultimately had to be run from the second reserve start due to weather on the upper mountain. Still, it proved to be a memorable day for all in attendance.
Lindsey Vonn was, of course, the talk of the day as she competed in her last downhill race and finished an impressive third, ending her career on the podium just like Aksel Lund Svindal did in the men’s downhill on Saturday.
“I think everyone knows my mentality by now, I always risk everything all the time, which is the reason I’ve been able to win so much and it’s also the reason why I crash so much and have had so many injuries," Vonn said. “I risked it all today. I was so nervous all day and had serious anxiety. I wanted more than anything to finish strong. I didn’t want to end up like I did on Tuesday, in the fence.“
At 34 years of age, Vonn became the oldest woman to win a World Championships medal with her performance and the only woman to collect a medal at six World Championships.
Slovenia’s Ilka Stuhec repeated her performance from two years ago in St. Moritz (SUI) by winning the downhill title. It was the first successful defense of the ladies' downhill title since 1989.
“It was not a bad run, not at all," Stuhec said, laughing. “I still have to gather all my feelings because I’m quite emotional so it might take a while."
The Slovenian speedster missed the entire 2017/18 season due to injury but has made a swift comeback to the podium.
“None of what happened before actually matters because it’s a new day and a new chance. We all start from zero and it’s the same for everyone. I just do my best and apparently it was good enough."
Sharing the podium with Ilka Stuhec and Lindsay Vonn was silver medalist Corinne Suter, Switzerland’s new speed star. She was overjoyed with tears, having already won bronze in the super-G earlier this week after securing her career-first World Cup podium last month.
“I’m feeling a bit better because after the Super G I was so surprised that I got a medal and today I hoped for a medal but the run wasn’t perfect so I’m just super happy about my second place today,” she said.