Lindsey Vonn wants to race against men in World Cup downhill

October 8, 2012

Lindsey Vonn wants to race with the boys. (Armando Trovati / AP)

Lindsey Vonn all but owns the downhill course at Lake Louise, Alberta.

So thorough is the U.S. skiing star’s dominance of the mountain that it is often dubbed “Lake Lindsey.” And now Vonn, who has won nine of her 26 World Cup downhill races at Lake Louise, wants to step up the competition.

Vonn has written the International Ski Federation to request permission to compete in the men’s World Cup downhill event on Nov. 24.

“I’d like to have one chance in my life to race against them,” Vonn told the New York Times this weekend. “Annika Sorenstam did it in golf and paved the way for women. I’m not asking for World Cup points. I’m not asking for any of that. I just want the chance to compete.”

But in order to race with the boys, Vonn still needs the U.S. ski federation to submit a formal request to FIS, something is has yet to do.

“We clearly have great respect for Lindsey, her accomplishments in the sport and her desire to seek this new challenge,” USSA vice president of communications Tom Kelly said in a statement (via CBSSports.com). “But we have not had any formal discussion yet between Lindsey and FIS.”

As CBSSports.com notes, the biggest impediment could be the television contract with NBC, which has advertised its coverage of the women’s World Cup event in Aspen, Colo., on the same weekend as featuring “Olympic champions Lindsey Vonn and Julia Mancuso.”

Competing in the men’s event could also cost Vonn points in her pursuit of a fourth overall women’s World Cup title, but Vonn sounds determined to seize the opportunity if she is granted permission.

“This is something I’ve always wanted to do,” she told the Times. “I’ve always tried to push my skiing to the next level. I’m always trying to find a new challenge, and this is definitely that challenge.”

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