Jonna Mendes in for downhill; Picabo Street likes what she seesJonna Mendes has qualified for the women’s world championship downhill, finishing fourth in a training run at Santa Caterina, Italy. Mendes led the whole American team, including Bryna McCarty, with whom Mendes was competing for the last of four start positions in Sunday’s race.
“You’re starting to see so many American girls stack the deck,” says Picabo Street, the Olympic, world and World Cup downhill champion. Street is happy to see the team needing to use qualification races to select a team. “It’s so exciting. You really don’t truly know who is getting picked for what. It used to be that there were four of us on the team, and we got our uniforms and went. It’s great that so many girls are skiing so well.”
Street and Mendes are friends from when Mendes, now 24, was a youngster on the team in the late 1990s. When Mendes comes to Park City, she occasionally visits Street (now a mother, and a member of the Ski Hall of Fame).
Mendes will join Kirsten Clark, Lindsey Kildow and Caroline Lalive in Sunday’s downhill.