Created: 11/23/2012 2:41 PM KSTP.com By: Scott Theisen
Lindsey Vonn's outlook for competing this weekend wasn't nearly as bright as her outfit.
Wearing a lime green jacket and bright purple ski pants, the U.S. skier sped down the race course in a training run Friday. Then, she hopped on a chairlift for another pass, swiftly maneuvering through the terrain again.
Just like old times.
The four-time overall World Cup champion recently returned to training after missing time with an intestinal issue that landed her in the hospital. She will decide Friday night - after consulting with her coaches and physiotherapist - whether she will step into the starting gate for the giant slalom on Saturday and slalom on Sunday.
The main concern with Vonn is whether she's completely back to full strength. The Olympic downhill gold medalist spent two nights in the hospital with what she described on Facebook as "some infection in my tummy."
Health permitting, Vonn will be out there. She spent most of last week training in Vail and also squeezed in a downhill practice session at the U.S. Ski Team's speed center at Copper Mountain.
Immediately after her training session Friday, Vonn jumped into a truck waiting at the bottom of the lift and took off without saying a word.
This venue has been far from friendly to Vonn in recent seasons. She's failed to finish a race five times on this course and didn't qualify for a second run on another four occasions. Her best finish in Aspen is fourth place.
Not only that, but it was here, about a year ago, when Vonn announced that she and her husband of four years were divorcing. She then dominated the season with 12 wins, reclaiming the overall title from Maria Hoefl-Riesch of Germany by setting a new overall points record at 1,980.
Still, it's been a tumultuous past few months for Vonn, who's relied on family and friends to get her through the ordeal.
Vonn recently requested to compete in a men's downhill race, only to be rejected by the International Ski Federation. She was hoping to enter the men's race this weekend in Lake Louise, Alberta.
The 28-year-old Vonn has 53 career victories, trailing only Annemarie Moser-Proell of Austria (62) and Vreni Schneider of Switzerland (55).
Earlier this month, Vonn skipped a slalom competition in Levi, Finland. But that had more to do with wanting to train more for Aspen and not the illness.
"It's good to see her back. I'm glad she's back," Tanja Poutiainen of Finland said after her training run. "We are a big family here. Everybody knows each other. We support each other, because we are not playing against each other like in (soccer) or ice hockey."
Tina Maze of Slovenia felt the same way.
"I hope she's feeling good and she can race," said Maze, who finished runner-up to Vonn in the overall title chase last season. "I don't know if she's feeling that good for racing. But I hope so."
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