US skiing star Lindsey Vonn, who has been seeking a start in the men’s downhill race in Lake Louise, Canada, next month, said she would only compete there if she can also take part in the women’s race a week later.
“If it’s not possible to do the women’s World Cup race in Lake Louise, then I definitely won’t race with the men either,” the 27-year-old told Austrian TV channel Servus in an interview in German broadcast on Monday.
“That needs to be clarified first, that I can still race with the women,” she added.
The reigning women’s overall and downhill World Cup champion made headlines earlier this month when it emerged she had requested a start in the men’s race in Lake Louise on Nov. 24.
Critics say Vonn, who has won 53 World Cup races in her career, would be given an unfair advantage if she trains and races with the men in the Canadian resort, a week before the women take to the same slope.
“It’s been a life’s goal for me to one day race with the men and I think Lake Louise is the best race for me because I know the slope,” Vonn said in Monday’s interview.
FIS (International Ski Federation) men’s race director Guenther Hujara told Ski Racing Magazine earlier this month that Vonn could not expect to race with both the men and the women in Canada.
“It would be an advantage in training. If she would be allowed to race [in the men’s], she could not be allowed to race in the ladies’ race a week later. That is clear,” he said.
The FIS is due to decide on Vonn’s application next month.