This World Cup victory, the 77th in Vonn's career, came a day after she struggled in the training run on the slope and missed what proved to be a critical gate to her success the following day.
"I didn’t really try very hard to make the gate yesterday. So I knew as long as I stood on it and I gave myself a little bit of extra room just so that I carried the speed through that section. It wasn’t really in my head too much", Vonn said. She teared up in the finish area immediately after seeing the green light. "It feels amazing. I just got to the bottom, and I cried. Worked really hard to come back and you know, I feel like sometimes I come back so quickly, everyone forgets how much time and energy, blood, sweat and tears it takes to come back without any training and just jump in there. And I had to trust myself and my team and my technician, and we all did our best and today was just amazing".
In Vonn's return to competition in Zauchensee, Austria, she finished 13th.
"I’m so happy, but it only took me two races to get back on the top step. I mean, honestly, I wasn’t sure after Zauchensee how long it would take me and I proved to myself today that all the work that I put in is really coming through", she concluded.
Although Lara Gut had a slight mistake toward the bottom of the course, she was glad to pull off the close second-place finish, further demonstrating her podium consistency this season. It was the first Downhill podium of her career at the German resort.
"I’m pretty happy because I know I can be close to the win all the time if I ski the way I can", Gut noted.
The German crowd was awed by Viktoria Rebensburg's return to the Downhill podium for the first time in a year, since the Garmisch-Partenkirchen race last season when she also finished third.
"I knew from the training that I felt pretty well down there, but the run didn’t feel that great beause I think it was faster than yesterday. So the turns were pushing way more than yesterday also. Then, I thought, I’m really down, but it was fast, I tried to keep the skis running, and yeah, I’m pretty happy about it", Rebensburg said. "I mean it’s always so nice to be on the podium. For sure, it’s been quite a while in downhill. I think it was maybe a year last time. I don’t know. So it’s super to be up on the podium again. For sure, now we [are at the] end of January, so I think it’s a good time also to be on the podium".
Rebensburg added that she hopes to carry this momentum into the upcoming FIS Alpine World Ski Championships which will be held in St. Mortiz, Switzerland, in February.