Congratulations to Lindsey Vonn as ahe became a Formula 1 racing driver.

2 minutes, 21 seconds Read

On In Depth with Graham Bensinger the retired alpine skier who won Olympic gold and is considered one of the best-ever females in the sport, told a fascinating story (while driving at high speed!) about how she almost switched one speed-based sport for another.

Vonn’s exploration into Formula 1 came through conversations with her sponsor, and owner or two F1 teams, Red Bull who also advised her that if it didn’t work out, then she could also try NASCAR stock car racing in America.

As well as the lure of some fast-paced action, Vonn also found the financial rewards on offer in F1 alluring.

“The salary of one racer is probably (equal to) the total amount of money ski racing has for their annual budget as a sport. I bet Lewis (Hamilton, a six-time F1 champion) makes way more money than all of ski racing combined.

She had been training regularly with men for years and realised that the gap between the sexes was not as large as it was perceived.

“A couple of times we did video analysis and I was right there (time-wise) with Aksel (Svindal, Norway’s two-time alpine skiing Olympic champion), arguably one of the greatest downhill skiers of all time. I was like 200ths or 300ths of a second behind him. Could I be competitive with the men?

“I trained as they’re better than I am and I wanted to push myself and this would be the ultimate… like what Billy Jean (King the tennis player) did or (golfer) Annika Sorensen did. It’s not so much that you want to beat the guys but you want to be a better athlete.

Lindsey Vonn and Aksel Svindal presented with the 2012 Overall World Cup SuperG globes 2012 in Schladming, Austria.
Lindsey Vonn and Aksel Svindal presented with the 2012 Overall World Cup SuperG globes 2012 in Schladming, Austria.

Ultimately Vonn’s petition never became a reality, with many of the sport’s traditionalists refusing the idea that women should be allowed to compete with men due to biological differences in strength.

“I think some guys were worried that I’d beat them. I got a lot of support from a lot of people like Aksel and the Norwegian team who wanted me to try it,” Vonn continued.

“I’d train with the Canadian guys and they always had a bet that whoever got beat by me would have to do the dishes that day. There were people doing the dishes, trust me!

“Knowing myself I’d probably kill myself trying too hard and doing something stupid.” – Linsey Vonn during In Depth with Graham Bensinger
A different mindset to Mikaela Shiffrin
The interview then moved onto the topic of compatriot Mikaela Shiffrin.

With both women boasting superlative World Cup records and Olympic gold medals, comparisons between the two are constant.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *