Lindsey Vonn describes 2018 Olympic venue for speed events


The 2018 Winter Olympics will not be the first time that Lindsey Vonn races in South Korea. 

She competed in a pair of World Cup races in Jeongseon, South Korea, the site of the PyeongChang Olympic speed races, about 11 months before the 2018 Games. 

“I really like [the hill],” Vonn said at the time. “It suits my skiing really well.”

Vonn finished second in the downhill race on March 3. A day later, she finished second in the super-G, just .04 seconds off the lead.

Finishing second in an Olympic test event is a familiar position for Vonn. She was second in an Olympic downhill test event prior to the 2010 Games. She went on to claim the Olympic downhill gold medal in Vancouver. 

“I think it’s better that I save my best skiing for the Olympics,” Vonn said. “I was second as well in Vancouver in the test events before the [2010] Olympics, so if that shows any indication of what’s to come next year, hopefully that’s what it means.”

The course has gotten rave reviews from other U.S. skiers. Laurenne Ross called it “pretty sweet.” Stacey Cook said that she “really, really loves the track.”

“I think it suits our team better than any major championships track we’ve run in a long time,” said Cook, who represented the U.S. at the 2006, 2010 and 2014 Olympics. 

The man responsible for the racing surface is Tom Johnston, the Chief of Race for the 2018 Winter Olympic Games. Johnston, who is from Wyoming, worked at the 2002 Salt Lake City Games and 2014 Sochi Games.

“Everything is manmade,” said Steven Nyman, a three-time Olympian who finished third in the men’s Olympic downhill test event in February 2016, but will not compete in PyeongChang after tearing his right ACL in January. “It makes for great ski racing – the track’s a lot of fun. It’s a relief, because it’s been prepped so well.”

Racing in Jeongseon gave the skiers film to study before the 2018 Games. 

“I know what I can do to be faster,” Vonn said. 

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