Posted November 03, 2012

Lindsey Vonn’s request to race men turned down


The International Ski Federation turned down Lindsey Vonn’s request to race men in a downhill race. (Alain Grosclaude/Getty Images)

Olympic gold medalist and four-time overall World Cup champion Lindsey Vonn was turned down by the International Ski Federation on Saturday in her attempt to race men in a World Cup event, reports Bloomberg News.

“One gender is not entitled to participate in races of the other and exceptions will not be made to the FIS Rules,” the federation said in a statement.

The federation did say that Vonn is “welcome to submit a request” to Lake Louise organizers “to be a forerunner.”

Vonn, the 2010 Olympic downhill gold medalist, wanted to compete against men at a World Cup downhill race in Lake Louise, Alberta, on Nov. 24.

“This is something that I personally want to do,” said Vonn earlier this week. “I’m not trying to race the whole men’s tour; I just want to race one time. If you know me, which most people on the World Cup do, they know that this is a legitimate goal of mine and not a publicity stunt.”

Vonn has 26 career downhill victories, including sweeping two downhills and a super-G last November at Lake Louise.


As I understand it, the issue wasn't just that she wanted to race against men.  It's that she wanted to race against men AND compete in the women's race on the same course shortly afterwards.  The extra practice on the course she would have gotten from the men's race would have given her a fantastic (and unfair) advantage competing in the second race.  


I applaud the FIS for not allowing a sport that nobody cares about other than when the Olympics are taking place to be cheapened by Lindsey Vonn being a sideshow to the men's division.