She has been overshadowed by young teammate Mikaela Shiffrin in recent weeks but US veteran Lindsey Vonn hit back with victory in Italy Saturday to reignite her Olympic hopes and move to within seven of the record of World Cup wins.
The 33-year-old triumphed in the downhill in Cortina d'Ampezzo to take her tally to 79 World Cup victories, the most of any woman and second only to the 86 of Swedish slalom legend Ingemar Stenmark.
The American clocked one minute 36.48 seconds to beat Liechtenstein's Tina Weirather for her 40th World Cup downhill win, with another young American Jacqueline Wiles in a surprise third place.
Vonn has had a mixed season despite winning a super-G in Val d'Isere, France in December. She had an injury-disrupted 2017 after breaking her arm and is still skiing with a brace on her right knee to aid a long-term problem.
While Vonn has struggled, US starlet Shiffrin has become the preeminent skier on the world stage.
Slalom specialist Shiffrin, 22, has won 10 times this season, including five in a row since January 1, to edge to 41 World Cup victories overall.
But Vonn's first downhill win since January 2017 has rekindled her hopes of regaining the Olympic title she won in Vancouver in 2010. She missed the Sochi Winter Olympics with a knee issue.
Vonn also became the first skier, male or female, to win a World Cup race in 15 consecutive seasons.
Vonn and Shiffrin came second and third in another downhill in Cortina Friday, behind Italy's Sophia Goggia.
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It was only Shiffrin's third ever downhill podium after she placed third in Lake Louise in December and clinched her maiden win the next day on the same course in her fourth ever World Cup downhill race.
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