Vonn's title overshadowed by social media gaffe

Posted at 8:02 AM, Feb 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-22 10:02:58-05

Apologizing for a gaffe on social media, Lindsey Vonn had little to celebrate after clinching a record 20th World Cup crystal globe title and surpassing Swedish great Ingemar Stenmark on Saturday.

A day earlier, Vonn posted a video of an angry outburst in which she destroyed her bindings with a hammer following a race where one ski detached.

After erasing the post from her Facebook page, Vonn spent the night drafting an apology with her Los Angeles-based agent and called Johan Eliasch, chairman of the Head group that supplies the American's equipment.

"I made a mistake and everyone does that. I am human. I had a lot of emotions yesterday and I should have just done boxing with my trainer," Vonn said after bouncing back to finish second Saturday and wrap up the season-long downhill championship.

"I'm always usually careful with what I do and say on the social media platforms and I just didn't really think it through," Vonn said. "I was a little bit too emotional. It was a good lesson for me. I just have to remember that I have a lot of people looking up to me and I can't let my emotions get the best of me."

Nadia Fanchini of Italy won with a 0.14-second margin ahead of Vonn in a race shortened by strong winds

Italy's Daniele Merighetti finished third, 0.72 behind.

With only one more downhill this season, Vonn extended her lead to an insurmountable 173 points ahead of Larisa Yurkiw of Canada.

It's Vonn's record eighth downhill title — adding to four overall globes plus five in super-G and three in combined. Sweden's Stenmark held the previous record of 19 globes established from 1975 to 1984.

Vonn also reclaimed the overall lead from Swiss rival Lara Gut, who finished 11th. Vonn is 43 points ahead.

Vonn was leading Fanchini at the first two checkpoints, then made a couple minor errors as she got bounced around on the icy surface of the Franco Berthod course in the shadows of Mont Blanc.

When Vonn crossed in second place, the result drew cheers from the Italian crowd and Vonn — who was seeking to add to her record of 76 wins — did not appear completely pleased, waving to the crowd without her usual enthusiasm.

For Fanchini, meanwhile, it's turning into the best weekend of her career after she finished third in Friday's downhill. Her only other win came seven seasons ago in a super-G in Lake Louise, Alberta. The Italian has also won two medals in downhill at world championships — silver in 2013 and bronze in 2009.

"I still don't believe I beat Vonn because she's the best woman of all time in this sport," Fanchini said. "And to do it at home in front of my fans is extra special."

Yurkiw finished fourth and Laurenne Ross of the United States was fifth for a third consecutive downhill.

A super-G wraps up the weekend on Sunday.


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