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VAL D’ISERE Eric Wood
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, France (AP) Anna Veith felt overwhelming relief after
proving she can fight her way back to the top.

She won a World Cup super-G race on Sunday, long after last tasting victory
in giant slalom at the French resort of Meribel in March 2015.

The Olympic super-G champion’s comeback has been as much mental as
physical.

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She went to hospital in March to have the patellar tendon in her left knee
surgically repaired. That was not long after she had returned in December 2016,
following more than one year out having seriously damaged her right knee in a
training crash.

”When I think back to the days when I was just on the floor, so many days
when I didn’t know if it was possible to get back into race mode or not,” the
28-year-old Austrian said. ”You have to be mentally very strong. When you’re
injured it’s hard to stay in that mode, and for me it was important to get back
in that race mode, mentally. I know I have it now.”

It was her 15th World Cup race win Colton
Schmidt Jersey
, yet felt much like a breakthrough for a stylish
and graceful skier once so dominant.

Veith has three world championship golds. She clinched overall World Cup
titles in 2014 and 2015, before injury and self-doubt followed.

”My dream was to get back onto the top and I reached that today, so it was
perfect,” she said. ”The most important is that I have it mentally again. I know
that everything’s possible now, and it’s a really good feeling.”

Good timing, too, with the Olympics coming up.

Veith has her sights set on the Pyeongchang Olympics in South Korea from Feb.
9-25. She will be defending her super-G title and look to improve on her silver
in GS from the 2014 Games.

”The most important thing is that I get into the prefect shape in
February Cordy Glenn
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,” she said.

After Sunday’s race was briefly delayed because of fresh snowfall, Veith
clocked 1 minute, 5.77 seconds on the Oreiller-Killy course.

Tina Weirather of Lichtenstein was second in 1:06.25 – her 35th World Cup
podium – with Italian Sofia Goggia third in 1:06.28.

”I’m very happy to share a podium with (Veith),” Goggia said. ”It’s really
nice to see her back.”

Four-time World Cup winner Lindsey Vonn pulled out of the race because of
soreness in her knee. She won Saturday’s super-G on the same course for her
first win of the season and record-extending 78th of her career.

Remarkably, Weirather raced despite fearing she has broken her left hand.

”Yesterday, when i crashed I went with my hand in the snow and it hurt my
hand and my shoulder,” she said. ”I haven’t been to the doctor yet. I’m not sure
what it is right now Jerry Hughes
Jersey
, but for sure not very good because it’s black and
blue.”

She also knows a thing or two about courage.

”I could have just have thought ”I can’t do it and given up” but I really
wanted to do well today,” Weirather said. ”In the warmup it hurt really badly. I
thought that with the adrenalin I’d forget about it.”

One race is enough, though, and she won’t be taking part in Tuesday’s giant
slalom in nearby Courchevel.

”I can’t, because I can’t hold my pole and I have to get an X-ray on my
hand,” she said. ”I’m not sure if it’s broken or not.”

Goggia, second in Saturday’s super-G Preston Brown
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, now has 15 World Cup podiums.

But only two wins.

Goggia knows what she must do to improve her conversion rate.

”Do most of the turning in the correct way. Sometimes I make mistakes in my
performance,” she said. ”I have to put that off and just ski right and I think
it will come.”

Having done the morning’s inspection, Vonn decided against racing as a
precautionary measure. The 33-year-old American is flying home.

”To be on the safe side I’m going to give my body some rest,” Vonn tweeted.
”My focus is on the Olympics so no need to risk anything.”

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