For the first time since retirement, the United States Women’s speed team took some time to celebrate their careers alongside their teammates outside of Cabo San Lucas, Mexico.
Linsdey Vonn, Julia Mancuso, Leanne Smith, Stacey Cook, Laurenne Ross, Alice Mckennis, and their physical therapist, Lindsay Winninger all gathered to spend some much needed time reflecting on their careers and celebrating their successes as a team. Vonn, Mancuso, Smith, and Cook have all retired within the past few seasons.
“There are four of us kind of born around the same year that aren’t ski racing anymore. So we’ve decided we should get together and celebrate with because if you follow any of us on Instagram, you know that it’s a crazy tour. We’re always busy and we never get to hang out,” said Mancuso. “Then for the last 18-20 years we’ve been competing against each other. Most of us have been competing against each other when we were kids. I first met Stacey Cook was when… probably when I was 7 or 8, we competed against each other. So I’m 35 now, that’s going on almost 30 years. And Lindsey was really similar, I think I was 9 or 10 when we first met at ski camp. So that’s 25 years, and we never really spent any time together.”
Vonn treated the women to a stay in at the Montage Los Cabos resort, hoping the time would give the women to catch up as friends and reminisce on the time they were competitors. Back in 2012, each woman on the speed team made the podium on the World Cup and topped the nation’s standings in downhill and super-G. Collectively, the women hold 182 World Cup podiums (90 of which are wins), in addition to a total of 13 World Championship medals, seven Olympic medals, and 20 World Cup titles.
So much has changed since the female downhillers competed collectively on the U.S. Ski Team. Both Vonn and Ross have recently underwent knee surgery. While Ross plans to return to the circuit, Vonn has decided to move on to the next adventure as the winningest woman in alpine skiing history. Mancuso is now pregnant and soon to be expecting a baby boy with her husband, Dylan Fischer. Mckennis is engaged and working tirelessly to return to racing after multiple knee operations. Smith is coaching for the Mount Washington Valley Ski Team in New Hampshire, and leading the next generation of young female downhillers towards success. Cook currently stands as the Interim Director of the Mammoth Mountain Community Foundation, a non-profit that supports academics and athletics in Mammoth Lakes, California Needless to say, the adventure has not stopped for these women after retiring, and a few of them still have sometime left on the tour to look forward to.