Why Lindsey Vonn is wearing No. 7 in the Olympic downhill


Lindsey Vonn won’t have to wear the unwanted No. 1 bib again when she starts the Olympic downhill.

Not like she did in the super-G on Saturday. Then, her only choice was being the first starter. It did not work out and she finished sixth.  

“No. 1 hasn’t been a good number for me,” Vonn said on the eve of her signature race.

It’s a cat-and-mouse game top skiers play in picking start numbers for speed races like downhill and super-G.

Vonn will start No. 7 on Wednesday, right where she wanted to be, racing soon after big rival Sofia Goggia. The top-ranked Italian had first pick of odd-numbered bibs from Nos. 1-19 and took No. 5. Vonn had next pick.

Earlier, the American star revealed her strategy for telling coaches what to select.

“It really depends on what Sofia chooses,” the 2010 Olympic champion said. “I’m picking right behind her so I would like to start behind her. I like knowing my competitors, what times they get, how they’re skiing.”

At the start house, Vonn can watch the first racers on television and also know if Goggia is leading.

As the No. 1 starter in super-G, Vonn was like a test pilot. How she handled the gate-setting helped identify tricky sections for rivals, including where she misjudged a turn near the end.

Of course, in super-G Vonn was 10th-ranked this season, so was last to pick from the odd-numbered pool. It was no choice at all when the first nine left her with No. 1.

She has lucky 7 for her best event Wednesday.

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