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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Winter Olympics spoiler alert: Vonn, Mancuso in giant slalom


Associated Press

Results of the Alpine skiing women's giant slalom race today.

WHISTLER, British Columbia Lindsey Vonn crashed out of the first run of the Olympic giant slalom race today.

The American lost control around a right turn in the middle section of the course, got twisted around, landed hard on her left hip and crashed backward into the safety netting.
After being checked course-side for a few minutes, Vonn got up and skied down to the finish.

U.S. Ski Team spokesman Doug Haney said Vonn banged up her right hand.

Vonn said she was going for an X-ray on her hand, after which she'll know if she will race Friday's slalom, her final event of the games.

"I hope my finger is OK so I can compete Friday. ... "I was like a pretzel so tangled up."

Vonn was just getting over a bruised right shin, having opened her Olympics with gold in downhill and bronze in super-G.

While giant slalom is usually Vonn's worst event, she had posted the fastest split times until her crash.

"I was hoping for something today," Vonn said.

Vonn had a more difficult starting position, 17th, but was 0.35 second ahead of the pace by leader Elisabeth Goergl of Austria at the third split, just before the crash.

"She was in contention to win. To put four-tenths on this field from No. 17 is incredible," said Thomas Vonn, the skier's husband, unofficial coach and chief adviser. "You can win 99 percent of the way and not have anything."

Vonn's teammate Julia Mancuso was the next skier on course and had to pull up midway through her run because Vonn was still on the side of the course.

Mancuso, the defending champion, then had to make her way back up to the top of the course for a later start, and finished 18th. Mancuso appeared disturbed, since starting later usually is tougher with the course deteriorating as one skier after another comes down.

"I feel terrible, and I hope she understands," Vonn said of her teammate. "I definitely didn't want that to happen."