Alpine skiing: Vonn chases record in Italy

American Lindsey Vonn lead downhill training on Thursday as she bids to equal and overtake the record of World Cup wins at Cortina d'Ampezzo this weekend.

Alpine skiing: Vonn chases record in Italy
Lindsey Vonn Vonn has already won five times on the Olympia delle Tofane slope and last won in Italy in the 2013 downhill. Photo: Philippe Desmazes

The four-time overall World Cup champion clocked the fastest time in the Dolomites to finish 0.12sec ahead of compatriot Julia Mancuso with Slovenian Tina Maze third at 0.18.

Vonn, 30, needs just one more win to equal the 62 World Cup wins set by Austrian Annemarie Moser-Proell between 1970 and 1980.

And the Italian resort will offer the American skier, who is back on strong form following a high speed crash in early 2013, three chances to do so.

Cortina will on Friday host last weekend's cancelled downhill from Bad Kleinkirchheim, Austria, along with a second downhill on Saturday and a Super-G on Sunday.

Vonn, who was out for 18 months with injury, has already won five times on the Olympia delle Tofane slope and last won in Italy in the 2013 downhill.

"It's a piste that I like a lot. I got my first podium here (3rd in the downhill, January 18th 2004) in the World Cup and I have a really good understanding of the hill," said Vonn.

Only a new injury can stop the American making history, although Moser-Proell's mark came during a time when the Super-G did not exist.

Maze, meanwhile, will be looking to extend her lead in the overall World Cup standings, as he sits 252 points ahead of American Mikaela Shiffrin.

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Italy’s ski season begins with Covid green pass rules in place

Italy’s ski slopes have begun reopening with hopes that Covid-19 passes and other health measures will be enough to prevent closures this year.

Ski lifts in Italy require a health pass.
Ski lifts in Italy require a health pass this year. Photo: Miguel Medina/AFP

Some of Italy’s biggest ski resorts opened for the new season on Wednesday, with Covid-19 green passes required when using ski lifts, social distancing measures in place at entrances and online booking required in some areas.

While Italy’s government did not specify that the green pass would be required on slopes or to take ski lifts this winter, this is one of the rules agreed in a protocol signed last month by Italy’s winter sports federation, association of chairlift operators and association of ski instructors.

The green pass requirement applies to everyone aged over 12 when accessing lifts, capacity is reduced to 80 percent for closed cable cars (open chairlifts can operate at full capacity), and masks are a requirement in all “common areas”, the protocol states.

EXPLAINED: What are the Covid rules on Italian ski slopes this winter?

Italy’s Covid health certificate demonstrates that the holder has either been vaccinated, has recovered from the virus recently or has tested negative.

In the popular ski resort of Cervinia, on the Swiss border, local police and staff were checking green passes and identity documents and no crowds or problems were reported as the lifts opened for the start of the season on Wednesday morning, according to the AGI news agency.

Cervinia has also made it compulsory to buy ski passes online, though this is only a recommendation under the protocol.

At the moment in Cervinia it is only possible to ski on the Plateau Rosa and on the Swiss side, while slopes on the Italian side are still being prepared.

The Swiss government agreed with resorts on Tuesday that that health certificates will not be required on the country’s slopes or to take chairlifts.

In France, the health minister has said he is considering whether to make the health pass compulsory for using ski lifts.

Under rules set by the Italian government, the pass is a requirement for all customers aged over 12 at indoor bars and restaurants. Though not a requirement to enter hotels or accommodation, the pass is needed when accessing hotel restaurants and facilities such as spas.

In addition to the health pass requirement, the standard Italian health rules on masks and distancing will also be in place at all businesses.