Vonn back in latest step to Sochi

Lindsey Vonn has chosen the right place for the next stop on her road back to fitness ahead of the Winter Olympics in Sochi.

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The 29-year-old, a four-time overall World Cup winner, opted out of last weekend’s St Moritz outing and Tuesday’s slalom in Courchevel.

In her fight to regain full fitness in time to defend her Olympic downhill title in February, Vonn is being choosy.

Returning to competition at Lake Louise in the first week of December, she showed steady progress over three races in her first starts since reconstructive surgery on her right knee after a crash at the World Championships in Schladming last February.

But the American, whose boyfriend is golf world No.1 Tiger Woods, will return for Saturday’s downhill and Sunday’s giant slalom in a place she knows well.

Not only did she win World Championships downhill gold in Val d’Isere, France in 2009, albeit on a different piste, she also won World Cup downhills in 2006, 2007 and 2010, as well as two super-combined events in the same period.

Vonn has admitted that she is confident of surpassing Austrian Annemarie Moser-Proell’s record of 62 women’s World Cup victories – the American has 59 – and even Swedish legend Ingemar Stenmark’s mark of 86.

“I’ve already been thinking about that,” Vonn told Red Bulletin magazine.

“My current plan is to keep going until the 2015 World Cup. Then I’ll see how far away I am from that number and then I’ll decide what to do, whether I’ll keep going in every discipline or maybe just downhill and super-G and concentrate on that record.

“Records are the only thing which remains of an athlete. The only thing that people will remember.”