Lindsey Vonn is struggling with a rib problem.
After completing the downhill portion of the combined as a training run, Vonn says, "I’m a little stiff still. I actually feel pretty decent. It’s just that my upper rib kind of went out when I was at the start so that’s been kind of giving me a hard time."
Vonn used Friday’s downhill — the combined also features a slalom run — as a last training session, but perhaps it served as a confidence booster, too, after the 34-year-old crashed in her opening race at the World Championships, the super-G, in Are Tuesday.
She had the eighth fastest downhill time: 1:13.43 — 0.72 seconds behind Austrian first-run leader Ramona Siebenhofer — and described her performance as "OK."
Vonn says the rib problem affects "moving, in general," adding, "I’ve had rib problems in the past. It’s not a new thing for me but I can fix it before I have to ski."
Vonn, who will retire after Sunday’s downhill race, also has a black eye from crashing in the super-G on Tuesday. The race will be telecast on NBCSN starting at 5:25 a.m.
Vonn said she’s convinced skiing legend Ingemar Stenmark to come to her last race.
"I’ve been texting him and he wasn’t planning on being here and I was like, ‘Please, please, please,’ and so he’s coming. I’m really, really, really excited."
Vonn has 82 World Cup victories, second on the all-time list behind Stenmark’s 86.
Vonn is wearing a racing suit this week featuring blue and yellow trim in honor of Stenmark.
"Obviously we’re in Sweden but also because of Stenmark and how much he has meant to the sport," she said. "It’s something that has motivated me for a long time — his record — so I’m just paying my respects to him and this country."
Still, she says she’ll be aiming to win on Sunday: "Whether I’m ready or not I’m just going to go full throttle."
Wendy Holdener retained her Alpine combined title by beating Petra Vlhova by 0.03 seconds.
The Swiss racer was in fifth place after the downhill leg, and lost time on Vlhova in the top section of the slalom. She was tied with the Slovakian skier after the third checkpoint, but made up ground in the final stretch.
Holdener, who also won the team event at last year’s Pyeongchang Olympics, has now earned gold medals at three straight major championships. She is the fifth woman to win back-to-back world titles in the combined.
Ragnhild Mowinckel of Norway was third, 0.45 seconds behind Holdener.
Everything fell into place for Holdener, with her two biggest threats — Mikaela Shiffrin and Michelle Gisin — not competing in the event. Shiffrin, who won the super-G on Tuesday, was sitting it out to preserve energy for next week’s giant slalom and slalom, while Gison was sidelined because of a knee injury.
Vonn declined to race Friday afternoon’s slalom section of the combined, but said she was confident of improving her downhill speed in Sunday’s race.
"From the first jump down it was pretty decent, but it was a good test for me," she said. "I have another gear left to go and I’m just going to rest tomorrow [Saturday] and be ready for Sunday.