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Queen of the Hill

March 19, 2012
March 19, 2012

Table of Contents
March 19, 2012

GOLF PLUS
LEADING OFF
THE MAIL
Inside: THE WEEK IN SPORTS
  • As it starts its 17th season, MLS has become a hotbed for talented players from Latin America—especially Colombia, which has a long history with the U.S. game

  • Everyone wants to see the Suns move their point guard—except for Steve Nash, who's happy to keep things as they are

  • These five players were once can't-miss kids. They're still kids and (for the most part) still have a chance to bust out like the Royals' Alex Gordon did in 2011

NCAA TOURNAMENT PREVIEW
PRO FOOTBALL
PRO HOCKEY
  • St. Louis has found its happy groove under coach Ken Hitchcock, who has taken his new club from unheralded to seemingly unbeatable

BASEBALL
ANTOINE WALKER
POINT AFTER
Departments

Queen of the Hill

Lindsey Vonn continues to carve out a record career, taking a fourth overall World Cup title

Lindsey Vonn, the 2010 Olympic downhill champion, has been performing at such a high level that her achievements seem routine. Think of it as the Meryl Streep effect: Her? Again? Mainstream sports fans who repeatedly come across the U.S. skier's name might be tempted to dismiss her from boredom alone.

This is an article from the March 19, 2012 issue

They should resist the impulse, because at age 27, smack between the 2010 and '14 Olympics that will define her legacy, Vonn has come to dominate her sport like few athletes in history. Last Friday in Are, Sweden, Vonn clinched her fourth World Cup overall championship, a cumulative-points title based on results in all five Alpine racing disciplines. It is emblematic of the best all-around ski racer in the world, and Vonn wrapped it up with five races left in the season.

Vonn has won 11 races this season, matching her U.S. record, and she could still break Swiss star Vreni Schneider's 1989 world record of 14. Vonn has had her best season despite personal turmoil. Last fall she announced that she had filed for divorce from former U.S. Ski Team racer Thomas Vonn, who had been a significant part of Team Vonn. "The problems in my personal life have made me more focused," Vonn said. "I just wanted to prove to myself that I could ski, by myself. I've definitely had more focus than ever before."

Vonn long ago stamped herself as the best U.S. ski racer in history; she could soon remove the "U.S." distinction. With 52 career World Cup wins she trails only Austria's Annemarie Moser-Pr√∂ll (55) and Schneider (62) among women, and barring injury Vonn should get both before the 2014 Games. She might even catch the alltime men's leader, Ingemar Stenmark of Sweden (86). It's arithmetic that Vonn chases now; the other challenges—opponents, mountains, the clock—have proved unworthy.

PHOTOJONAS ERICSSON/AGENCE ZOOM/GETTY IMAGES (VONN)RACER'S EDGE Vonn sewed up her 2012 title with five events remaining. With 11 wins so far, she has a shot at the alltime record of 14 in a season.