Lindsey Vonn has won more ski races than any other woman in history. But she has one more thing she'd like to achieve before she retires after the 2018-19 season: Compete against the men.
Vonn has again petitioned the International Ski Federation to enter the men's World Cup race in November 2018. The organization denied her request in 2012 with the explanation that "one gender is not entitled to participate in races of the other." This time around the federation has not immediately said no but the women's race director, Atle Skaardal, said in a statement that it's a tricky topic.
"One point that everyone is underestimating is that we need to have equal rights for everyone," Skaardal said. "So if the ladies are allowed to race with the men, then also the men need to be authorized to ski with the ladies, and I'm not sure this is a direction we want to go."
The desire to avoid unintended consequences that could negatively impact women's ski racing is understandable. Still, it feels like it would be a positive to watch Vonn compete against the men. Why not give her the opportunity that she has proven she deserves?