Lindsey Vonn took the wire-to-wire giant slalom victory in Are, Sweden to mathematically secure an American record fourth Audi FIS Alpine World Cup overall title (Getty Images/AFP - Jonathan Nackstrand)
ARE, Sweden (March 9) - Olympic gold medalist Lindsey Vonn (Vail, CO) produced an inspired wire-to-wire giant slalom victory in Are Friday to mathematically secure an American record fourth Audi FIS Alpine World Cup overall title. With five races remaining in the season, Vonn's insurmountable lead of 554 points boosts her point total to a 1,808, the most in U.S. history. It also notched her 11th World Cup victory of the winter to tie her own single-season record she set in 2009.
Lindsey Vonn (Vail, CO) won the Are giant slalom to lock her fourth Audi FIS Alpine World Cup overall title.
She passes Phil Mahre in the record books as the only American to win four overall titles.
Vonn also usurps Croatian Janica Kostelic, Swiss Vreni Schneider and Austrian Petra Kronberger, who all won three overall cups during their careers.
Only Austria's Annemarie Moser-Proell has more overall World Cup titles than Vonn with six.
It was the 15th World Cup title of her career and her third of the season (downhill, super combined already locked).
Vonn missed the 2011 overall title when she lost to friend Maria Hoefl-Riesch by three points when the final race of the season, a giant slalom, was canceled.
It was her 11th win this season (tying her 2009 record) and 52nd of her career boosting her point total to another American record 1,808.
Kostelic holds the women's single-season point record with 1.970 in 2006 and Austrian Hermann Maier has the men's with 2,000 in 2000.
Vonn also has an opportunity to win the super G and giant slalom titles with one race remaining in each discipline.
A slalom Saturday closes action in Are before the tour moves to Schladming, Austria for World Cup Finals.
QUOTES Lindsey Vonn It's definitely a lot less stressful to clinch the overall title before the finals. Last year at the [Lenzerheide] finals, I might have lost a few years of my life.
I don’t know what to say, I just wanted to have two really aggressive runs today. I had nothing to lose. I’m just having fun. My sister is here and my teammates are so cool cheering me on in the finish. It's amazing to have so much support. I love my teammates. Only a couple of more races left and we will get to celebrate this year.
Anything is possible, but it's going to be really difficult [to reach 2000 points]. I'm going to have to execute in every race and seize the opportunity like I did today. I've got three big chances to make the top three in the downhill, super-G and the giant slalom [in Schladming]. But I'm going to have to execute.
Alex Hoedlmoser, Head Coach The overall was pretty much a done deal but I think the giant slalom win is absolutely huge. I am just thinking back to three years ago when she was not even considered a top-10 skier in GS. It's something we have talked about for a long, long time. She just needed to believe she can do it on race day.
We just tried to continue on with winning races, not looking at points. She just went out there and skied it all out and did a fantastic job.
The second run had very difficult conditions. It was so dark out there and the light was so flat and it was definitely a little bit bumpy before the end. She just went out there and did it and it was a very impressive job. She just went for it and she is putting on the pressure again and its pretty fun to see.