The US Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA) will put forth a formal proposal to the International Ski Federation (FIS) next week for Lindsey Vonn to participate in a men’s World Cup downhill race next year.
The bid would pitch Vonn, the most decorated skier in American history with 77 wins and 130 podiums, opposite men over the last weekend of November 2018 at Lake Louise, the lone Canadian stop on the circuit where she’s notched 14 of her record 39 World Cup downhill wins.
The USSA will make the proposal at the worldwide governing body’s pre-season meetings next week in Zurich.
“Further details are still unknown, but this is certainly an anticipated topic that divides the FIS officials,” the governing body said in a statement on Wednesday.
It’s not the first time Vonn has made the case to race alongside men. Five years ago, the governing body rejected a similar proposal citing rules barring mixed-gender races.
FIS women’s race director Atle Skaardal expressed further hesitation this summer, saying it would be a “very difficult challenge” to organize.
“It will be a very difficult challenge to find a reasonable way of doing this because one point that everyone is underestimating is that we need to have equal rights for everyone,” Skaardal said in a June statement. “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. I see it as a very difficult topic. … I’m confident that everyone will think this through.”
Vonn, who turns 33 in October, said last year that she’d like to “beat some boys and then call it a day” during her final season before retiring from competitive skiing.
“I know I’m not going to win, but I would like to at least have the opportunity to try,” Vonn told the Denver Post earlier this year. “I think I’ve won enough World Cups where I should have enough respect within the industry to be…