It was difficult to say exactly when Vonn lost control.
“She jumped a little bit in the wrong direction and started to correct that a little bit in the air and put a lot of pressure on the outside ski exactly in the landing and she couldn’t hold the pressure and then (she crashed),” said Atle Skaardal, women’s race director for the International Ski Federation.
Skaardal defended the decision to race.
“I can confirm that the visibility was great, there were no problems, and the course was also in good shape,” he said. “I don’t see that any outside factors played a role in this accident. ... The other factors were like they were supposed to be for ski racing.”
Vonn’s list of injuries at major championships is long.
Two years ago, she pulled out midway through the last worlds in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, because of a mild concussion. At the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, Vonn skied despite a severely bruised shin to win the downhill and take bronze in the super-G.
At the 2009 worlds in Val d’Isere, she sliced her thumb on a champagne bottle after sweeping gold in the downhill and super-G, forcing her out of the giant slalom. At the 2007 worlds in Are, Sweden, Vonn injured her knee in training and missed her final two events.
And at the 2006 Turin Olympics, she had a horrific crash in downhill training and went directly from her hospital room to the mountain to compete in four of her five events.
The conditions yesterday varied from racer to racer, and as the light began to fade even more, organizers stopped the race after only 36 of the 59 skiers had come down.
Maze skied immediately before Vonn.
“I saw it was a very high jump, so I knew I had to take the right line to make the next gate,” she said. “World championship races often have special conditions and the mistakes from the girls were not because of the slope.”