Vonn loses overall, 'devastated' by canceled race

By Graham Dunbar

Associated Press

Published: Saturday, March 19 2011 12:00 a.m. MDT

After the race, Vonn thanked her husband and adviser, Thomas, and U.S. coaches. She praised her teammates, including Julia Mancuso, whose victory in the downhill Wednesday was one of the season's many "what if" moments. Mancuso's first victory since 2007 pushed Vonn into fourth position, which scored 10 points fewer than third.

Lara Gut of Switzerland and world champion Elisabeth Goergl of Austria also finished ahead of Vonn in the downhill.

"Ted (Ligety) continues to take GS to a new level, Julia (Mancuso) was right back on the podium and the U.S. women won the downhill and super G standings," Vonn said.

"I cannot thank my husband, coaches and our entire team enough for their support. This was a great season."

However, Riesch fears their close friendship — somewhat unique among rivals in international sports — will suffer because of the way the seasonlong duel ended.

Riesch will marry her agent, Marcus Hoefl, in Austria next month, and was pressed by German-speaking media on whether she expects Vonn will accept her invitation to attend.

"I don't think so," said Riesch, adding she was "disappointed" at Vonn's reaction to her victory.

Speaking earlier at an official news conference, Riesch was reluctant to detail their exchange at the trophy presentation, yet revealed that Vonn, "said nothing."

"I thought it was her turn to come to me," Riesch said. "When I went up to the podium I just gave her a hug and said, 'Congratulations' and, yeah, there was nothing."

Now there's next year for Vonn.

A competitive drive has fueled the 26-year-old's rise to become an Olympic and world champion and the most successful U.S. skier in history. Her 41 career wins is fifth among women in the 44-year World Cup. Barring injuries, the all-time mark of 62 held by Austrian great Annemarie Moser-Proell is within reach.

Riesch suggested to German media that such single-mindedness could strain their relationship.

"I always congratulated her as a sportsman. I respected what she did and I accepted it," Riesch said. "Even for me the situation was not always simple, but I always stayed fair.

"It's much more difficult for a person like Lindsey who only wants to win and has had so much success."

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