Skiing: Vonn apologises for hammer attack on skis

Lindsey Vonn of the US reacting after taking second place in the women's downhill race of the Alpine Skiing World Cup. She is now assured of a record eighth crown in the discipline.
Lindsey Vonn of the US reacting after taking second place in the women's downhill race of the Alpine Skiing World Cup. She is now assured of a record eighth crown in the discipline.PHOTO: EUROPEAN PRESSPHOTO AGENCY

MILAN • Lindsey Vonn has issued a mea culpa after a video showing her angrily attacking the bindings of her skis with a hammer overshadowed her skiing exploits on Saturday.

The American ski queen finished second in the women's downhill at the Italian resort of La Thuile to reclaim the overall World Cup lead from Swiss rival Lara Gut, who is now 43 points behind in second place.

Vonn now has an unassailable lead of 173 points in the women's downhill standings with one race left this season, meaning she is assured of a record eighth crown in skiing's most prestigious discipline that allows her to overtake Swedish legend Ingemar Stenmark for the most number of World Cup titles.

But images of the American attacking her ski bindings with a hammer - in an apparent show of frustration at one of her skis coming off during a downhill race on Friday - has partly overshadowed her weekend exploits.

The video clip shows her taking a heavy, mallett-type hammer in both hands and trying to smash the bindings on one of her skis.

After initially posting the clip on her Facebook page, Vonn later deleted it. She then contacted the chairman of Head - which supplies her equipment - to apologise.

She admitted after Saturday's race that she had made a mistake.

"I made a mistake and everyone does that. I am human. I had a lot of emotions yesterday and I should have just done boxing with my trainer," she said.

"I'm always usually careful with what I do and say on the social media platforms and I just didn't really think it through.

"I was a little bit too emotional. It was a good lesson for me. I just have to remember that I have a lot of people looking up to me and I can't let my emotions get the best of me."

She will officially overtake Stenmark's all-time record of 19 titles after the final race of the season. In a message on the social media site Twitter, Vonn said: "My 20th title today!! Can't believe it!!!! Thanks to everyone who helped get me here!"

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 22, 2016, with the headline 'Vonn apologises for hammer attack on skis'. Print Edition | Subscribe