Lindsey Vonn WON'T Race Men
FIS rejects her request, offers "forerunner" status
The International Ski Federation (FIS) this weekend rejected Lindsey Vonn's request to race against men in a World Cup downhill race later this month. "The Council respected Lindsey Vonn's proposal to participate in men's World Cup races and confirmed that one gender is not entitled to participate in races of the other and exceptions will not be made to the FIS Rules," the FIS said in a statement.
After years of dominating the women's World Cup, the four-time champion was hoping to participate in a men's downhill race over Thanksgiving weekend at one of her favorite courses, Lake Louise, Alberta. Vonn is so dominant on the course—winning nine of her 26 World Cup downhill victories there—that it's sometimes dubbed "Lake Lindsey."
Though she can't race with the men, the FIS extended Vonn an olive branch, allowing her to "submit a request to the Organising Committee and jury to be a forerunner." Forerunners ski the course before races to test for safety and visibility, and are timed in the same manner as actual competitors. If Vonn rides the course as a forerunner, it's still likely to attract a media circus, since she would, in essence, still be racing against the boys (without reward or credit).
She wouldn't be the first female pro forerunner. In January 2012, Austria's Marlies Schild acted as a forerunner for a men's night-time slalom event at Schladming. Her time would've put her in the top 30 for that race.