Posted February 15, 2012 on AP on Fox
From Lindsey Vonn on down, the first impression of the women's downhill course for the 2014 Sochi Olympics was a positive one. The only problem was that the jumps were too large. ''I like it. The snow is a little bit soft and it was definitely windy today, but first impression was good,'' Vonn said after Wednesday's opening training run for this weekend's World Cup races - a major test event for the games. ''There's more terrain on this course than pretty much every World Cup that I've been to.'' Downhill world champion Elisabeth Goergl of Austria was also pleased with the Rosa Khutor slope. ''It's got everything in it - really steep parts and jumps and nice, steep turns and flat parts and rolls - so it's an interesting track,'' Goergl said. ''It's definitely Olympic worth.'' However, after the first three skiers flew high off the slope's two big jumps, course officials began waving flags to slow skiers down as they approached those sections, meaning most racers didn't get a chance to go full speed all the way down. ''I was really, really high the first jump. ... I was flying,'' said Johanna Schnarf of Italy, who was the first skier on the course and led the session by 0.01 seconds ahead of Vonn - although she missed a gate. Vonn started 15th and was flagged before the jumps, but that didn't stop her. ''The coaches said, 'If you feel like there's a headwind then stop,''' Vonn said. ''I felt the headwind but I still didn't stop.'' With downhill and super-combined races scheduled, Vonn could clinch both discipline titles this weekend. The American holds a 230-point lead over Tina Weirather of Liechtenstein and is 255 points in front of Georgl with two downhills remaining after this weekend. Entering the final super-combi, she's 55 points in front of Tina Maze of Slovenia and 60 points ahead of Nicole Hosp of Austria. Vonn is aiming for her fifth consecutive downhill title and third straight in super-combi. ''I know what I have to do but I try not to think about it,'' Vonn said. ''It would just be great to win here, period. It's the Olympic track, so I want to get up to speed and see what I can do and really risk a lot so that I know what I'm capable of for the Olympics.'' Like the men last week, the women are impressed with the amount of progress in a resort that was begun from scratch just a few years ago. While the area is not open to the public yet, there are already numerous gondolas and chairlifts in place and world-class slopes. Down in the valley below, workers are toiling all day and night to build hotels, restaurants and shops - plus rail and highway connections from the Black Sea coast 50 kilometers (30 miles) away. ''I can't believe that none of this was here two years ago,'' American downhiller Laurenne Ross said. ''Who came through here and decided where we're going to run the downhill and cut all the trees down? It's so cool that you can do that. It makes me want to make a resort, make some really cool runs.'' Security men wearing traditional Russian fur hats and carrying machine guns are all over the place. ''I feel like I'm in 'James Bond' or something,'' said another American, Alice McKennis. However, not everything is ready. ''Where we go in before we go to the start there's not a real, working toilet - it's just a hole,'' said defending overall World Cup winner Maria Hoefl-Riesch of Germany. ''There's still some (work) to do but there was nothing here, so I think it's going to be good.''
PLAYERS: Lindsey Vonn
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

John Wall warns Lonzo Ball about having target on his back

Eric Bledsoe raises suspicion with tweet

Browns select empty seat to win prize

Hue Jackson critical after DeShone Kizer stayed out late Friday

Carson Palmer to miss eight weeks with broken arm

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Mitchell Trubisky leads Bears to win despite completing just four passes

Red Sox confirm Alex Cora as new manager

Joe Thomas misses his first career snap after injuring arm

Dolphins fans cheer after Jay Cutler leaves with injury

Browns bench DeShone Kizer again, bring in Cody Kessler

Bills fans boo team off field after hatchet job to end half

MLS Decision Day: East to be a rumble while West up for grabs

Most prominent sports bans on the 5th anniversary of the Lance Armstrong ban

Sports & Politics Intersect: Cubs owner up for Heritage Foundation post

The 'Like Mike, only better' quiz

Three Up, Three Down: Dodgers finish Cubs while Astros find pain in the Bronx

The 'Some call me the Rocket, some people call me Maurice' quiz

Kyrie Irving must lead Celtics through a disaster in search for happiness

Jacoby Brissett: The forgotten up-and-comer

NFL Week 7 Predictions

The 'Can I have a quick sword with you?' quiz

College football 2017 Week 8 predictions

NFL Referee Hotline Bling: Austin Seferian-Jenkins drops a call

Skiing News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Yardbarker Privacy Policy and Terms of Service. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

MLS Decision Day: East to be a rumble while West up for grabs

Most prominent sports bans on the 5th anniversary of the Lance Armstrong ban

Houston Astros hold off Yankees, forcing Game 7

Sports & Politics Intersect: Cubs owner up for Heritage Foundation post

The 'Like Mike, only better' quiz

Three Up, Three Down: Dodgers finish Cubs while Astros find pain in the Bronx

The 'Some call me the Rocket, some people call me Maurice' quiz

Kyrie Irving must lead Celtics through a disaster in search for happiness

Jacoby Brissett: The forgotten up-and-comer

NFL Week 7 Predictions

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker