Vonn criticizes World Championships super G course, calling it dangerously bumpy 'pond ice'

By David O. Williams
Real AspenFebruary 7, 2011
Vail's Lindsey Vonn on her facebook page today said she's “shocked and disappointed” about the condition of the super G course for Tuesday's FIS World Alpine Ski Championships in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany.

She said after free-skiing the course today that it's “extremely bumpy pond ice from top to bottom.” Tuesday's super G is the first women's race in the Worlds schedule. Here's Vonn's full comment on her facebook page:
Lindsey Vonn is not happy about the condition of the World Championships super G course.
U.S. Ski Team
“I have something I need to say. I am not trying to complain or be negative, but I feel strongly that this is an important safety issue that needs to be brought up. It is something that's on everyone's mind but everyone is afraid to bring it up.

“I just finished free-skiing the World champs super G race hill and I was shocked and disappointed at the condition of the hill. The hill is extremely bumpy pond ice from top to bottom. It has clearly been injected or hosed down with a ton of water. I have never seen a course prepared like this in my entire career, nothing even close.

“In my opinion the hill is WAY too icy and downright unsafe! I find it very hard to believe that the FIS has any concern for the safety of the athletes when the World Championships race hill is prepared like a bumpy ice rink. I fear there will be a lot of DNF's and crashes in the coming days.”

Vonn, a Ski and Snowboard Club Vail product originally from Minnesota, holds the all-time record for World Cup victories by an American ski racer, with 39. A gold medalist in downhill at last year's Vancouver Winter Olympics, Vonn is a three-time defending overall World Cup champion and currently fifth among all women on the career World Cup victory list.

She has strongly voiced her opinion in the past about the practice of injecting women's World Cup courses with water to make them freeze solid for a faster racing surface. She has said in the past that the practice can be unsafe in women's racing and sometimes is not appropriate under certain conditions and on certain courses.

Vonn last week suffered a mild concussion in a nasty crash while training giant slalom. She sat out one World Cup slalom as a precaution.

NBC and Universal Sports (www.UniversalSports.com.) will cover the World Championship beginning with Tuesday's super G and running through the men's slalom on Feb. 20.

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