Vonn pre­pared to charge af­ter wins record

Santa Fe New Mexican - - SPORTS - By Pat Gra­ham

COP­PER MOUN­TAIN, Colo. — On her farewell tour, Lind­sey Vonn vows to dine out even more with her Amer­i­can team­mates , have an oc­ca­sional glass of wine with long­time ri­vals/ friends and take plenty of pho­tos.

One quick caveat, though, as she sa­vors the sights and sounds dur­ing her last go-around: Come race day, Vonn will of course be Vonn.

At ease with her de­ci­sion to re­tire fol­low­ing the sea­son, she’s ready to charge af­ter his­tory — balky right knee and all.

The 34-year-old ski racer en­ters the sea­son with 82 World Cup vic­to­ries, leav­ing her five away from break­ing the record held by Inge­mar Sten­mark of Swe­den.

“As much as I’m go­ing to soak this sea­son in, I’m still out there to win. I’m never go­ing to be in the start­ing gate to just check out the scenery,” said Vonn, whose sea­son kicks off in Lake Louise, Al­berta, with a pair of down­hill races and a su­per-G on Nov. 30. “I’m very goal-ori­ented. That won’t be any dif­fer­ent.”

She said there’s zero chance she re­turns even if she fin­ishes just shy of break­ing Sten­mark’s achieve­ment.

“I can’t phys­i­cally do it — un­less some­thing mirac­u­lously hap­pens in sci­ence,” said Vonn, who lives in Vail, Colo. “I’m happy with what I’ve done. No mat­ter what hap­pens, it’s def­i­nitely go­ing to be my last sea­son.”

Once she steps away from rac­ing, she has other plans to keep her oc­cu­pied.

Like pos­si­bly open­ing a busi­ness, per­haps a beauty line.

Or tak­ing in more hockey games, with her boyfriend, P.K. Sub­ban, a de­fense­man for the Nash­ville Preda­tors. She also hasn’t ruled out the pos­si­bil­ity of a broad­cast­ing ca­reer.

“I’m ready for the next chap­ter. It’s not be­cause I want to be — I’m ready be­cause it has to be,” Vonn said af­ter a train­ing ses­sion at the U.S. ski team’s speed cen­ter at Cop­per Moun­tain. “The risk just doesn’t out­weigh the re­ward any­more. I would like to be able to ski recre­ation­ally in 10 years and if I have chil­dren, be able to ski with them. … It came to the point where it was time to say good­bye.”

As she dis­cussed her in­juries, Vonn pat­ted her trou­ble­some right knee.

Her dog, Lucy, sat on her lap with a ban­dage — duct tape, ac­tu­ally — on her right front paw fol­low­ing a re­cent ac­ci­dent.

ALESSAN­DRO TROVATI/AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS FILE PHOTO

Lind­sey Vonn will be­gin her quest to be­come the all-time win­ningest ski racer in a few weeks in Lake Louise, Al­berta.

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