Lindsey Vonn, the 2010 Olympic downhill champion, said she was hurt by the criticism she received during the world championships here.
Vonn, silver medalist in the women's downhill Sunday, said her complaints about conditions on the course had been wrongly interpreted as criticism of the host venue itself. It has also been suggested that talking about her concussion was a tactic to unsettle her rivals.
"I had the impression that the newspapers and television here were not nice to me," the American said. "It was not a show, I did what I thought was right for me to ski well."
Elisabeth Goergl of Austria won the event.
"I can't believe it, I was so anxious before the race," said Goergl, who finished the 2.9-kilometre Kandahar course in 1 minute 47.24 seconds to beat defending champion Vonn by 0.44 and Maria Riesch of Germany by 0.60. It was the first top-level downhill in two years not won by either Vonn or Riesch. Britt Janyk of Whistler, B.C., placed 15th.
Vonn cited an injury before the Games last year and went on to win the women's downhill. Last week, Vonn struggled with the after-effects of hitting her head in a training crash in Austria 11 days ago. She finished seventh in the super giant slalom last Tuesday but skipped the slalom leg of the super-combined Friday.
"I hope people still like me," Vonn said. "I was not criticizing Garmisch when I said things about the course being too icy. That was about the International Ski Federation's preparations and, by speaking out, I did what I thought was best for the world championships."
Vonn said the concussion has been the most difficult injury she has faced.
"I've had a lot of injuries before but mostly it's been about dealing with the pain," she said. "I think I'm pretty tough and I can usually grit my teeth and get on with it. But this injury has taken away my drive and my focus. The doctors say I should stay in a dark room and that is something I do not like doing."
Janyk started 25th and finished in 1:49.53.
"I went out of the gate and raced hard and I felt confident on the hill," she said. "I knew that if I put a strong run down that I could be right in there. ... Unfortunately I didn't get the best bib draw but the track stayed in great shape and I just went in there and I raced hard."
Janyk also finished in 15th spot in the super G last Tuesday.
Reuters, with a report from The Associated Press
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