Lindsey Vonn won the women's Super-G this past Friday to be crowned alpine skiing's overall World Cup champion for the third consecutive year.
It was amazing to me that Vonn, after suffering a painful shin injury and a couple of falls during the Vancouver Olympics, was able to do as well as she did in the World Cup races last week in Germany. It is a testament to how strong a skier she is. We are truly watching the career unfold of one of the greatest female skiers of all time.
In becoming the first woman to win three straight World Cup overall titles since Petra Kronberger of Austria in 1990 to 1992, the 25-year-old Vonn is in exclusive company, one of only four women to have won that many overall titles, along with Kronberger, Vreni Schneider of Switzerland and Janica Kostelic of Croatia.
Vonn will be 29 when the XXII Olympic Winter Games are held in Sochi, Russia in 2014, and 34 for the Winter Olympics after that. It is a possiblity that we will be witness to her participating in two more Winter Olympic Games plus eight more World Cups.
The 2018 Winter Olympic venue has not been selected but I am pulling for Munich/Garmisch-Partenkirchen. Once two separate towns in Bavaria, Germany, Garmisch-Partenkirchen were made a single town by Adolf Hitler in 1935 before the 1936 Winter Olympic Games were held there. The beautiful resort towns lie at the base of the Zugspitze, Germany's highest mountain, a town in the region of Oberbayern in Bavaria, not far from the border with Austria.
I had the chance to hike up the Zugspitze in the summer of 1973 during a backpacking trip across Europe with a high school friend between our sophomore and junior years of college. It was one of the most breath taking moments of my life when I reached the top of the mountain. We hiked all the way back down the old bobsled track dating back to the 1936 Olympics and, at the end of our visit, I remember promising myself to one day return to ski the mountain. Eight years is a long way off for a skier to stay strong but I am rooting for Lindsey and will be the first to buy my tickets if Munich wins the bid.
In the meantime, I hope Lindsey takes a long break somewhere in the sun!