A proposal will be put forward to allow American skiing star Lindsey Vonn to compete against men at the International Ski Federation (FIS) Alpine Skiing World Cup event in Lake Louise next month.
The FIS said United States Ski and Snowboard had nominated the competition in the Canadian resort for Vonn, who holds the record for World Cup victories with 77, to go up against men in the downhill event.
The proposal will be discussed at the FIS pre-season meeting in Zurich on October 3 and 4.
“United States Ski and Snowboard will put forward a proposal for Lindsey Vonn to participate in the men’s downhill in Lake Louise,” the FIS said in a statement.
“Further details are still unknown, but this is certainly an anticipated topic that divides the FIS officials.”
Vonn, who won the women’s downhill gold medal at the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver, told People magazine that she does not see why she should not be allowed to participate in the same race as men.
“It’s something that I want to do for me,” the 32-year-old said.
“If I can train with them and be at the same level, why can’t I race with them?
“I’ve won all these races on the women’s side, why can’t I go to the next level?
“The men’s team is the next level, that’s a fact.
“I want to be in a place where I’m pushed to literally my maximum.”
Vonn had previously had a similar attempt rejected by the FIS in 2012 after world skiing’s governing body stated “one gender is not entitled to participate in races of the other”.
Her chances were dealt another blow earlier this year when FIS women’s race director Atle Skaardal told the Denver Post that women competing against men was a “meaningless comparison” and “has nothing to do with competition”.
Should the proposal be given the green light, she will take part in the men’s downhill at the event in Lake Louise – a traditional stop on the FIS Alpine Skiing World Cup tour – on November 25.
Vonn, the two-time world champion who also claimed bronze in the super-G at Vancouver 2010, has also claimed she plans to continue racing for another two seasons.
“My focus this year is on the Olympics,” she told People.
“I can break the overall win record this year, but I think it’s more realistic to save that for the following year, and really focus on the Olympics this year.
“For sure I’ll be racing two more seasons.”
By Liam Morgan
Republished with permission from insidethegames.biz.