Things got a bit more fun for American superstar ski racer Lindsey Vonn Tuesday night (Feb. 15) at the World Alpine Skiing Championships in Garmisch-Partenkirchen. Vonn was the star attraction at a party thrown at the Hotel Reindl´s Partenkirchner Hof by OnTheSnow.com and Vail Resorts.
Vonn had suffered what was termed a "mild concussion" while training in Austria just prior to the two-week international competition. She skied in what she described as "a fog" in early events, but still won the silver medal in the downhill Sunday. She pulled out of remaining races Monday between runs of a combined event (slalom and downhill) on medical advice. She did not mention her health in her prepared remarks.
Vonn told party guests she would be writing a weekly blog for the remainder of the FIS World Cup season on SchneeSki.com, the German language version of OnTheSnow.com. She did not speak about the concussion in her prepared remarks.
The Vail Valley Foundation has been selected to host "Worlds" at Vail and Beaver Creek Feb. 3-15, 2015. It is the foundation's third time hosting alpine skiing's most important event outside the Olympics. Vonn's hometown is Vail, Colo.
Vail Resorts is the parent company of Mountain News Corp., publishers of OnTheSnow.com, hence the joint party in the center of the ski racing world this week. Hosts for the party were Chad Dyer, global managing director of Mountain News, and John Garnsey, co-president of the mountain division of Vail Resorts.
Guests at the event included former German skiing great Rosi Mittermaier, gold medalist in slalom and downhill at the 1976 Olympics; her husband, Christian Neureuther, also a standout former racer; and well-publicized Olympic downhiller, German prince and singer Hubertus von Hohenlohe. Born in Mexico City, he skied for that nation in the last Winter Olympics. Top-level international tourism executives from throughout Austria also attended.
Vonn was said to have offered advice to members of the Chinese National Ski Team at the event and signed plenty of autographs for fans.
The star racer has faced criticism from some European media, which intensely follows the sport, that she is a "whiner." "A lot of people, at least in the European media, think that I'm making it up and I'm really not injured," she said. "I'm trying to explain my story and just tell people how I feel." Criticism in the U.S., where the event does not receive widespread coverage, has been more muted, though The Daily, a new iPad newspaper, ran a photo of Vonn with a caption noting the drama that seems to follow her around.
The World Championships conclude Sunday, Feb. 20, while the FIS World Cup tour resumes Feb. 23 in Are, Sweden. Vonn said she planned a few days of rest in Zell am See, Austira, but intends to resume competition in Are..
(Editors Note: Vail Resorts is the parent company of Mountain News Corp., publishers of OnTheSnow.com. This newsroom operates independently of that ownership. Vail Resorts is a publicly held company traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: MTN). Peter Freiberger of SchneeSki.com provided much of the detail for this story as well as the photo.