Go to contents

Will world ski empress lift glass ceiling to compete against men?

Will world ski empress lift glass ceiling to compete against men?

Posted December. 01, 2017 08:59,   

Updated December. 01, 2017 09:46


The downhill alpine skiing tracks at Lake Louise in Canada is nicknamed “Lake Lindsey,” as Lindsey Vonn of the United States, the favorite for the gold medal at the 2018 PyeongChang Olympic Winter Games, clinched 14 of her 39 World Cup downhill wins at this venue. She had four more victories in super G at Lake Louise.

Vonn will check her condition for the PyeongChang games by competing in the first women’s downhill World Cup races of the season at Lake Louise. She took three gold medals at the 2015 World Cup but did not race in Lake Louise last year because of a broken arm.

There is a possibility that she will race against men in next year’s World Cup. In 2012, she requested that the International Ski Federation allow her to compete in a men’s World Cup downhill race, only to be rejected. She made a new request in October, and the ski governing body will decide in May next year whether Vonn can go head-to-head against the men. The 17 executive committee members who would make the decision include Shin Dong-bin, chairman of the Korea Ski Association.

When she first made the request, a fairness issue was raised. As the women’s and men’s racing courses are almost the same, Vonn’s participation in men’s race would give her an advantage in women’s competition. Therefore, Vonn expressed her willingness to give up the women’s race in 2018.

Vonn, who has won 77 World Cup races, a women’s record, trails only Sweden’s Ingemar Stenmark’s mark of 86 wins. As one more victory is very important to Vonn, her sacrifice of the women’s World Cup race could jeopardize her race toward a world record. “It's a sacrifice for me. This is one of my best venues,” Vonn told reporters. “That tells everyone how serious I am about it. It's important to try to push the glass ceiling. The higher each person can push it, the more opportunities the next generation will have.”

Bo-Mi Im bom@donga.com