Lindsey Vonn returned to world cup competition this season after almost two years away. And she’s ending the season having earned 8 more World Cup victories, a sixth world championship medal, and two more crystal globes to her collection. She now has 19—four large globes for the overall title and 15 smaller globes for overall wins in downhill, super-g, and combined.
So where does Vonn stash all this lead crystal, made by Bavarian glassblower, JOSKA Kristall?
Some of her globes are still in their hard-shell cases. But when Vonn returns to her home in Vail this spring, she will put all 19 into a new trophy cabinet that she had built over her fireplace.
“There’s place for 23 [crystal globes], so if I win more than that, I’ll have to build a new one,” she said by phone from Meribel, France, host to World Cup Finals this season. “I think that will suffice.”
Why will 23 suffice?
That’s just the way the display lights fit above her fireplace, she said. She could either commission a case for 17 or 23.
“I said 23, make it bigger.” She then added that the trophy case can be made even larger if needed.
With 19 overall titles, Vonn tied Ingemar Stenmark for the most won by one athlete. But until yesterday, she did not know that she was close to the alpine legend’s record. When she realized what would happen if she won the overall super-g title (in a tight race with Austrian Anna Fenninger), Vonn realized that it would be “a pretty amazing accomplishment to equal his record.”
“Ingemar is an amazing legend in our sport, someone I’ve always idolized,” she said. “He seems like someone who’s not attainable, all of his records are just not attainable. To be able to be at the same level as he is, in at least one of his many categories that he has the record, is pretty incredible.”
But asked if she is shooting for his other major record — 86 World Cup wins — Vonn demurred. To win 19 more World Cup races (she already has 67 wins), Vonn would need to win seven more next year, seven the year after, and six in the 2018 Olympic year (she has stated that she will compete at least through the 2018 Olympic Winter Games in South Korea).
Vonn, now age 30, won eight World Cups this year. The most she has ever won in one season is 12 (during winter 2011/2012), and she has won at least six every year since 2007/2008 (excluding 2014, which she sat out while recovering from two knee surgeries).
“Mathematically, it’s definitely possible,” she said. “But that’s a lot easier said than done.”
Vonn is trying to keep record-breaking out of her goal setting. She admitted that thinking about breaking Annemarie Moser-Proell’s record of 62 World Cup wins (the most of any woman until Vonn broke it in January) was one of her “faults.” She became aware of Moser-Proell’s record when she hit 55 wins in 2013 — shortly before her devastating crash at the 2013 world championships. (Incidentally, Moser-Proell only won 16 overall World Cup titles.)
“Going forward, I need to not think about those things and just focus on the skiing,” she said. “It always seems to bring good things.”
Like lots of glittery crystal to place over the fireplace.