In three weeks, the only things that will matter for Lindsey Vonn will be gold, silver, or bronze.
Yesterday, however, was a day for milestones at Cortina D’ampezzo, Italy.
Vonn made it five wins in five downhills this season, and her 30th World Cup victory tied her with Croatia’s Janica Kostelic for eighth place on the career list, nearly halfway to Austrian leader Annemarie Moser-Proell’s 62 wins.
“It’s crazy! When she was dominating the World Cup, I thought she was unbeatable,’’ Vonn said, referring to Kostelic. “She was so good - too good - and I don’t really see myself as the person that’s got the same amount of wins that she has.
“She is just as big a legend in ski racing as Moser-Proell or [Renate] Goetschl [third with 46 wins]. She’s a huge name.’’
Only one more stop remains on the women’s calendar before the Vancouver Olympics open Feb. 12. If Vonn wins the downhill in St. Moritz, Switzerland, next week, she’ll head to Canada on a six-race winning streak in the discipline - a seven-race skein if her victory in last season’s final downhill is included.
“I just have to keep executing, stick with the same rhythm, have the same approach and just try not to let the nerves and pressure get the best of me,’’ Vonn said.
Vonn sped down the Olympia delle Tofane course in 1 minute 37.70 seconds. Maria Riesch of Germany finished second, .42 seconds behind, with Sweden’s Anja Paerson and Switzerland’s Nadja Kamer tied for third, .86 seconds back. American Julia Mancuso was eighth after a fast start.
Riesch trails Vonn by 76 points in the overall World Cup standings.
Men’s downhill - Five US skiers finished in the top 26 - topped by Bode Miller in ninth place - as Didier Cuche of Switzerland became only the third man after Austrian greats Hermann Maier and Stephen Eberharter to win two races in one weekend at Kitzbuehel, Austria.
Marco Sullivan and Erik Fisher (tied for 18th), Steven Nyman (24th), and Andrew Weibrecht (26th) rounded out the American contenders.
Snowboarding - Defending Olympic champion Shaun White and 2002 gold medalist Kelly Clark will headline the US halfpipe team in Vancouver.
White, whose near-perfect run stole the show at yesterday’s US Grand Prix in Park City, Utah, will be joined by first-timers Louie Vito and Scotty Lago, while 2006 gold and silver medalists Hannah Teter and Gretchen Bleiler complete the women’s team.