Saint Moritz, Switzerland – The weather Gods cooperated and the ladies’ were able to crown their downhill World Champion as Slovenia’s Ilka Stuhec lived up to all expectations and claimed the gold medal in St. Moritz.
Stuhec, who topped both downhill training runs, finished 0.40 seconds ahead of Austrian Stephanie Venier and 0.45 seconds ahead of American Lindsey Vonn.
It was Stuhec’s first career World Championship medal as she continues to have an incredible season. Despite being on the World Cup circuit since 2007 it took until this season for Stuhec to earn her first World Cup podium, which came in Lake Louise. Since then, she has earned five victories and six total podiums.Now she can also add World Champion to her CV.
“I’m amazed,” an emotional Stuhec said after her victory. “I knew it was possible, but still to stand as the World Champion here is unreal to me. Words can’t express what this means. I think the reality will sink in a little later.”
It was also the first medal for Venier, who took home the silver. She was an outside chance to make the podium as she has only one career World Cup podium, which came a few weeks ago in Garmisch Partenkirchen in the super-G.
On the other end of the spectrum, is Vonn, who is one of the most decorated female Alpine racers ever. Today’s bronze was Vonn’s seventh total World Championship medal.
“I’m very happy with today,” said Vonn after the race. “I heard that I’m now the oldest female World Championship medal winners and after my injuries the last year, I couldn’t ask for more.”
After a rare fog bank over the middle of the course forced the cancellation of yesterday’s men’s downhill, tensions were high in the lead-up to today’s ladies’ downhill as the same weather pattern looked likely. But the ladies’ raced in a perfect window under blue skies and in front of a crowd of more than 50,000.