Women's Alpine Ski World Cup Speed Season Kicks off in Lake Louise
Updated: Apr 16
Finally it’s time for the women speed racers to start their World Cup season. After the Men’s week, the Ladies will take over the hill in Lake Louise this week. Two Downhills and a Super-G will be staged in the Canadian resort on 2-4 December.
Lake Louise (CAN)
December 2nd Downhill 12:00 LOC / 20:00 CET
December 3rd Downhill 12:30 LOC / 20:30 CET
December 4th Super-G 11:00 LOC / 19:00 CET
Of the last 20 downhill events at the Women's Alpine Ski World Cup, 17 have been won by Italian or Swiss skiers: eight by Sofia Goggia, five by Lara Gut-Behrami, two by Corinne Suter, one by Priska Nufer, and one by Elena Curtoni. The last non-Italian/Swiss women to win a downhill World Cup were Mikaela Shiffrin (Courchevel-Meribel, March 2022), Ester Ledecká (Crans Montana, February 2022) and Viktoria Rebensburg in Garmisch-Partenkirchen on February 8, 2020.
Presumably, the Downhill season is going to be a battle against big favorite Sofia Goggia, with many names on the challenger's list including consistent Corinne Suter, Lara Gut-Behrami, and Mikaela Shiffrin, who probably is going to add more speed races to her season program.
Last season Sofia Goggia crowned her race weekend in Lake Louise with three victories in a row.
After the two Downhill victories, she remained on the road to top the podium in the Super-G. The last woman to win three consecutive races was Lindsey Vonn. Goggia joined Lindsey Vonn (2011, 2012, and 2015) and Germany's Katja Seizinger (1997) in completing a skiing hat trick in Lake Louise.
The opening women's World Cup Downhill event was won by nine different women in the last nine seasons, after successive wins by Lindsey Vonn in 2011-2012 and 2012-2013.
In the first Downhill held in Lake Louise on December 3, Sofia Goggia was characteristically aggressive and risky, and the style paid off massively. The Downhill World Cup Champion grabbed an incontestable victory, in a demonstration of enormous solidity in the first Downhill of the season.
Coming down with bib number 5, Goggia attacked the Olympic racecourse and left no doubt that her time of 1:46:95 would withstand anyone’s chance to take the victory.
Goggia finished +1.47 seconds ahead of American Breezy Johnson. It's the largest margin in the last 50 years by any woman other than Lindsey Vonn and Austrian Annemarie Moser-Pröll, the two greatest female downhillers in history. Austrian Mirjam Puchner rounded the podium +1.54 behind Goggia.
The day after Sofia Goggia gave another ski masterclass to grab a second victory in the Downhill in Lake Louise.
Breezy Johnson claimed again a second place on the podium finishing +0.84 seconds off Goggia.
Corinne Suter finished in third place, +0.98 seconds behind the Italian.
In 2022 Sofia Goggia (ITA) clinched the Downhill Crystal Globe. Goggia previously won the Downhill globe in 2017-2018, and 2020-2021. She is the first woman since Lindsey Vonn (2014-2015 and 2015-2016) to claim the Downhill Crystal Globe in successive seasons.
She joins Vonn (8), Annemarie Moser-Pröll (7), Renate Götschl (5), Katja Seizinger (4) and Michela Figini (4) at the exclusive group of women who has win the Downhill title more than twice.
Sofia Goggia won four of the nine Downhill events in the 2021-2022 World Cup season. The other five events were won by five different women: Lara Gut-Behrami, Corinne Suter, Ester Ledecká, Priska Nufer and Mikaela Shiffrin.
Sofia Goggia won eight of the last 12 World Cup Downhill events she participated in. The exceptions came in Zauchensee (DNF) on 15 January, Crans-Montana (12th, 3rd) on 26 and 27 February, and the Alpine Ski World Cup Finals in Courchevel-Meribel (12th).
Sofia Goggia has equaled Isolde Kostner (both 12) on most World Cup Downhill victories among Italian women. On the all-time women's list for most World Cup wins in this discipline, Goggia is one shy of equalling MarieTheres Nadig (13) in seventh place.
This winter Corinne Suter could claim her second crystal globe in the Downhill, after winning it in 2019-2020.
Corinne Suter is the only woman to have finished in the top 10 in all World Cup Downhill races last season with the exception of the last one at the Finals in Courchevel-Meribel where she finished in discreet 19th place.
Since the start of the 2018-2019 season, Suter collected a record of 12 Downhill podiums in the women's World Cup.
Corinne Suter won the Women's Downhill at the Olympic Winter Games in Beijing. The 27-year-old did a consistent race and managed a perfect final section to beat Sofia Goggia. It's her first Olympic medal.
Suter won gold at the 2021 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in Cortina d'Ampezzo. She was the first Swiss woman to win the Downhill world title since Maria Walliser in 1989.
Ramona Siebenhofer finished fourth in last season's World Cup Downhill standings.
Austria won the women's Downhill crystal globe a record 19 times, but only once in the last 15 seasons: Nicole Schmidhofer in 2018-2019.
Ramona Siebenhofer has claimed two career World Cup Downhill victories, both in Cortina d'Ampezzo in January 2019.
Last season Siebenhofer finished on the podium in two Downhill World Cup races: third in Altenmarkt-Zauchensee and second in Cortina d'Ampezzo. She also finished fourth in Lake Louise and Val d'Isère.
Lara Gut-Behrami has yet to win the Downhill crystal globe. She has already won the overall globe (2015-2016) and three Super-G globes (2013-2014, 2015-2016, 2020-2021).
Lara Gut-Behrami is level with Marie-Theres Nadig (13) in seventh place on the women's list for most World Cup downhill wins.
Gut-Behrami (35) is one shy of equalling Katja Seizinger (36) in eighth place on the all-time women's list for most World Cup victories in all disciplines.
Last season Lara Gut-Behrami returned to the top of the podium after her compulsory Corona break to claim her career-second World Cup win in Altenmarkt-Zauchensee, Austria (she won the Super-G back in 2011). It was her only win and podium in the Downhill.
Mirjam Puchner finished on the Downhill podium two times last season. She claimed third place in Lake Louise on 3 December and in Val d'Isère on 18 December.
Both of Mirjam Puchner's World Cup victories came in the Downhill at the World Cup Finals, in St. Moritz in 2016, and in Soldeu in 2019. The last Austrian woman to win a World Cup downhill was Nicole Schmidhofer in Lake Louise on 7 December 2019.
Ragnhild Mowinckel can become the first Norwegian woman to claim a World Cup victory in the Downhill.
Last season she finished in second place in the first of two Downhills held in Crans Montana. Mowinckel finished on the Top 10 in the Downhill four more times last season.
Her best result in Lake Louise in the Downhill was a 10th place in 2017.
Kira Weidle has claimed four World Cup Downhill podiums, but has yet to win one. The last German woman to win a World Cup event in any discipline is Viktoria Rebensburg, who won the Downhill in Garmisch-Partenkirchen on 8 February 2020.
Her best result in Lake Louise in the Downhill was a 3rd place in 2018.
*The 2022 overall World Cup champion Mikaela Shiffrin (USA) will not compete in Lake Louise.
Lindsey Vonn is the absolute Queen of Lake Louise. She finished 17th times on the podium in the Downhill in Lake Louise, with 14th victories and three second places.
Vonn also was eight times on the podium in the Super-G in Lake Louise. She won the event in 2010, 2011, 2012, and 2015. She also finished in second place three times (2006, 2009, and 2014) and once in third place (2004).