Vonn goes out in wrong snow as Canada expects

Fri Feb 26, 2010 5:01pm EST
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By Kevin Fylan

VANCOUVER (Reuters) - Lindsey Vonn's Olympic adventure fizzled out in the wrong kind of snow on Whistler mountain on Friday, while down in the city the host nation's stick men and rock stars prepared for a landmark day on ice.

Vonn, who won gold in the women's downhill and bronze in super-G, wore a modified glove to help protect her fractured finger but it was to no avail as she straddled a gate on the first slalom run and suffered a third non-finish in five events.

"I am used to the Minnesota and Colorado hard snow," the American Alpine skier told reporters. "This snow doesn't like me.

"I have the gold medal I came here for," she added, her heavily bandaged finger on view for all to see. "I am going home happy, maybe a little bit more broken and bruised than when I came here, but happy."

Germany's Maria Riesch, gold medalist in the super combined, was fastest on the first run of the slalom and it could be a family affair on the podium this time with her sister Susanne Riesch in fourth.

Vonn came into the Games with hopes of five medals but the Vonn-couver Olympics were not to be.

The real leading lights of these Games, for Canadians at least, are the men's ice hockey team, who take what they hope will be the penultimate step on the path to glory when they face Slovakia in the semi-finals.

Barring a comeback of heroic proportions, the winner of that game will take on the United States in Sunday's final, after the Americans roared into a 6-0 lead in the first period of their semi-final against shell-shocked Finland.   Continued...

<p>Lindsey Vonn of the U.S. looks up the hill after skiing out during the women's first run of Alpine Skiing Slalom race at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics in Whistler, British Columbia, February 26, 2010. REUTERS/Mike Segar</p>