Proxy battles by the US and Russia are taking sport back to the 1930s | Richard Williams

Proxy battles by the US and Russia are taking sport back to the 1930s | Richard Williams

09-Dec-2017 09:30:03 | The Guardian

Lindsey Vonn’s outburst against Donald Trump means she takes her place in a complex game where politics and sport have once again become deeply entangled

On the face of it, Lindsey Vonn looks like Donald Trump’s type. Tall, blond, blue-eyed and a former star – naked but for a coat of paint – of Sports Illustrated’s annual swimsuit issue, the champion skier is the epitome of what would once have been called an all-American girl. And she will be one of the main draws of February’s Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, hoping to repeat her 2010 Olympic downhill win in Vancouver and thus take a measure of solace for her absence through injury in Sochi four years ago.

Coming off a 2016-17 season also compromised by injury, Vonn currently races in the shadow of her compatriot Mikaela Shiffrin, the 22-year-old phenomenon who won the Olympic slalom title in the mountains above Vladimir Putin’s favourite resort four years ago. But Vonn is the one who guest-starred in an episode of Law and Order and who dated Tiger Woods for a couple of years after their respective divorces. She remains the face of the United States’ powerful alpine skiing team.

Related: Lindsey Vonn: 'I want to represent the US, not Trump' at Winter Olympics

Related: Russia banned from Winter Olympics over state-sponsored doping

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