Rule No. 1 in life, love and, apparently, sports: Never discuss a woman’s weight. The New York Times reported that, in a conference call with reporters Monday, Lindsey Vonn took issue with an article in an Austrian newspaper that asserted she, along with close friend Maria Riesch from Germany, have a size advantage over other female skiers. Vonn is 5’10” and weighs 160 pounds; Riesch is nearly 6 feet and weighs 168 pounds.
“They used the word heavy and that irritated me,” said Vonn during the call. “Heavy? That’s ridiculous. I pride myself on my work ethic and on being as fit as anyone in the race. As a woman, I want to drop the subject, but I used it as motivation that’s for sure.”
Motivation, indeed: She won two downhills and the super G in Haus im Ennstal Jan 8, 9 and 10, earning the first hat trick of her career.
“Maria and I are also both really good slalom skiers, which people say favors smaller skiers,” Vonn said. “If all it took to be good at ski racing was weight then we all would be stuffing our faces. And that definitely doesn’t happen. Ski racing requires you to be agile, fit and strong. The Austrian coaches have already apologized to me. Everyone is sort of back-tracking. It’s a comment that struck a chord.”