Vonn critical of Lake Louise

DANIEL AUSTIN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 6:29 PM ET

LAKE LOUISE, Alta. — As the most publically visible skier on the women’s alpine World Cup circuit, Lindsey Vonn’s words carry weight.

So when she spoke up this week about course conditions at the World Cup event in Lake Louise, her complaints didn’t fall on deaf ears.

Vonn was critical of the icy conditions on the course and felt that not enough had been done to increase the grip on the course following water injection a week earlier for the men’s downhill.

“Because of the injection, it’s incredibly hard to find an edge, and it makes it, for the women, too challenging,” Vonn said. “I’m just trying to look out for the safety of the athletes. I think the injection might be great for the men but it’s too much for the women.”

Water injection is a process in which water is forced into snow through a high-pressure hose. In freezing temperatures, the water helps create a thick layer of ice and hard snow that prevents deterioration throughout long days of racing.

Race organizers altered the course after Alcott’s horrific crash in Thursday’s training runs by trying to reduce the size of the jump where Alcott lost control, and Vonn said they added crampons to some sections of the course to improve grip.

But on a weekend that saw a high number of racers slide off the course — there were nine racers who did not finish Sunday — and saw British racer Chemmy Alcott break her leg, Vonn’s argument that the slick and icy dangerous racing surface the water injection creates for racers sounded convincing.

“If I think something can be done better, then I’m going to voice my opinion,” said the American, a dominating figure in women’s skiing.

“I’m in a position where

I think I can help the athletes and make a statement to the media.

“And, hopefully, they’ll hear me, and, hopefully, they’ll make changes.”


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