Skier Linsey Vonn Is Campaigning To Be Allowed To Race Against The Men
Lindsey Vonn thinks she’s better than men
She has a string of Olympic medals decorating the trophy cabinet, including a gold from the Vancouver games in 2010, and has a further 38 World Cup race wins and 76 career wins under her belt.
And when she's not earning headlines for her prowess on the planks, she's making columns grow by many inches when appearing completely naked in Sports Illustrated.
All of this would be more than enough for most people, but our Linz is not most people. Far from it. Lindsey Vonn wants to race against men. Furthermore, while her contemporaries are retiring, Vonn sees herself racing downhill for a further three years.
In an interview with ESPN Radio in the Unites States, Vonn said "The goal is definitely to make it to the next Olympics in South Korea in 2018, so that’s two more seasons, but I’m really hoping for three seasons... It’s because in  my final season, I would like to race against the men in one race."
It's a comment that's set to ruffle a few feathers among the ski racing world. After all, this isn't the first time Vonn has shown an interest in mixing it with the fellas. Four years ago she petitioned the FIS - the folks who oversee all things skiing and snowboarding - to let her race against men during a Downhill event in Lake Louise, Canada.
This earlier knock-back from the FIS hasn't done anything to dampen Vonn's enthusiasm against testing herself against the men, though. Speaking in 2012 she told Eurosport "unfortunately the FIS said that a woman is not allowed to race on the men’s tour, it has nothing to do with safety. It has to do with the fact that I’m a woman. I was very disappointed [but it's] something that I’m going to continue to push for."
"allowing Vonn to race would set a precedent that would surely lead to more mixed gender races"
True to her word, four years later, while talking to ESPN Radio, Lindsey Vonn confirmed that she had "started the process of trying to figure out how [racing against men] can be accomplished. It’s going to be definitely a hard thing to get done with all the ski federations and everything involved, but that’s my goal."
It's a stance that's sure to spark controversy, with people both supporting Vonn, and those that believe men and women's ski racing should be as separate as the dance floor of a school disco.
Of course, allowing Vonn to race would set a precedent that would surely lead to more mixed gender races. However, In the Downhill Alpine races, like the ones Vonn competes in, the time difference in the mens race and the women's is already so close it's almost identical.
In March 2016, The FIS Ladies Down Hill in St Moritz was won my Austrian Mirjam Puchner with a time of 1:40.93. The equivalent mens event on the same hill, on the same day was won by the Swiss Beat Fuez, who crossed the line at 1:40.44. With only a hair in it, why not let men and women race together?