Street climbing steep road back

For Picabo Street, the climb back to her former heights is as slow as she used to ski fast.

For Picabo Street, the climb back to her former heights is as slow as she used to ski fast.

And after racing in her first downhill since shattering her left femur and shredding right knee ligaments at the World Cup finals in Crans Montana in 1998, the 28-year-old American knows it's not going to go any faster.

"It gets better every time I go down, but it's going to take awhile. I know that," said Street, who placed 24th in Saturday's downhill after finishing out of the points in 34th place in her comeback race, a super-G in Val d'Isere the previous week. "I'm just building on my confidence and pretty soon I'm hoping to get to a place where I'll do all the little things that you have to do right to do well in the downhill.

"I know what those things are but I'm not able to work on them yet because I'm not confident enough. I'm excited for the day to come where I can work all the little things out."

Though her accident occurred in Switzerland, Street apparently did not hold a grudge against the tiny alpine nation, choosing to race her first downhill - the same discipline that nearly ended her career - on Swiss snow.

"I don't like Crans Montana and I'll never ski there again, but the rest of Switzerland is wonderful," she said. "It's not so much a geographical thing, just which courses and what the weather is like there."

With the sunny weather and good light, Street's return to downhill racing was a success, the American completing the course, attacking more and finishing in the points.

"I didn't think about being afraid or waiting for the course to come to me. I kind of charged and went for the course more," said Street. "I planned what I wanted to do and I executed this plan.

"That's what I feel is a success for me today. And not being afraid and a victim to the course. I was in control of myself today."

Though it's not the first time that Street has made a comeback, this time by far has been the hardest.

Street had her first encounter with career threatening injury at the world championships in Vail in 1996, when she tore ligaments in her left knee in training after winning the downhill title, but quickly bounced back to win Olympic gold in the super-G in 1998 in Nagano, Japan.

However, only a month later in Crans Montana, another grisly accident left her with casts on both legs and unsure of her future.

Now, after more than two years spent recovering, Street is still unsure what the future holds for her and for the moment the Olympic and world champion is keeping her goals modest and within reach.

"If the light is good tomorrow, I would like to make a top-20 finish and stay in the top 20 afterwards. That's my target," said Street, showing little of the brashness she used to.

But still showing the same determination and grit, Street was anxious for a second crack at the downhill in Sunday's race.

"I want another shot at it," said Street. "I was very disappointed yesterday when we didn't have a training run because I get so much better each time I go down a downhill.

"They took one away from me yesterday and it made me a little angry but when I saw the weather I said 'okay, it's for the best.' And today, with the weather and the good light, it was more than I could ask for. If it's like this tomorrow, I know I can do much better."

Brigitte Obermoser led an Austrian sweep of the top two places in Saturday's race to clinch her first career downhill victory and silence the team's critics.

Coming back from North America with just one podium finish in two downhills - a third place by Renate Goetschl in Lake Louise - the Austrian team had been the target of scathing criticism from the national media.

But starting back in 27th place, Obermoser charged down the Corviglia I course in 1 minute, 38.68 seconds to win the downhill and prove critics wrong. The fact teammate and reigning overall World Cup champion Renate Goetschl finished runner-up in 1:39.03, only made it that much sweeter.

Canada's Emily Brydon, the 44th skier down, prevented an Austrian sweep of the top five places with a sizzling third place chrono of 1:39.11.

The young Canadian bumped Michaela Dorfmeister off the podium, the Austrian forced to settle for fourth with 1:39.15. Alexandra Meissnitzer, the 1998 overall World Cup champion, slipped to fifth in 1:39.16 and Tanja Schneider, sixth in 1:39.44.

Travel
travel
News
Tim Vine has won the funniest joke award at the Edinburgh Festival 2014
peopleTim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
News
Jamie and Emily Pharro discovering their friend's prank
video
News
people
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Life and Style
techApp to start sending headlines, TV clips and ads to your phone
Arts and Entertainment
Taylor Swift crawls through the legs of twerking dancers in her 'Shake It Off' music video
musicEarl Sweatshirt thinks so
Life and Style
tech
Arts and Entertainment
Daniel Radcliffe and Zoe Kazan in What If
filmReview: Actor swaps Harry Potter for Cary Grant in What If
News
Our resilience to stress is to a large extent determined by our genes
science
Travel
travel
Sport
sportBesiktas 0 Arsenal 0: Champions League qualifying first-leg match ends in stalemate in Istanbul
News
Pornography is more accessible - and harder to avoid - than ever
news... but they still admit watching it
Arts and Entertainment
The eyes have it: Kate Bush
musicKate Bush asks fans not to take photos at London gigs
News
i100
Extras
indybest
Sport
Manchester United are believed to have made a £15m bid for Marcos Rojo
sportWinger Nani returns to Lisbon for a season-long loan as part of deal
News
news
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Sales Representative, Leicester

£25-£30k Plus Car: Charter Selection: Major well established nationwide market...

Sales Representative, Birmingham

£25-£30k Plus Car: Charter Selection: Major well established nationwide market...

HR Administration Manager - Hounslow, West London

£28000 - £32000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: HR Administration Manager...

Sales Performance Manager, Gloucester - £290 p/day

£200 - £290 per annum + competitive: Orgtel: Sales Performance Manager, Key Ba...

Day In a Page

Ferguson: In the heartlands of America, a descent into madness

A descent into madness in America's heartlands

David Usborne arrived in Ferguson, Missouri to be greeted by a scene more redolent of Gaza and Afghanistan
BBC’s filming of raid at Sir Cliff’s home ‘may be result of corruption’

BBC faces corruption allegation over its Sir Cliff police raid coverage

Reporter’s relationship with police under scrutiny as DG is summoned by MPs to explain extensive live broadcast of swoop on singer’s home
Lauded therapist Harley Mille still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Lauded therapist still in limbo as battle to stay in Britain drags on

Australian Harley Miller is as frustrated by court delays as she is with the idiosyncrasies of immigration law
Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world. But could his predictions of war do the same?

Lewis Fry Richardson's weather forecasts changed the world...

But could his predictions of war do the same?
Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs: 'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

'I want to have contact with the audience, not iPhones'

Kate Bush asks fans not to take photos at her London gigs
Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities, but why?

Young at hort

Under-35s have rated gardening in their top five favourite leisure activities. But why are so many people are swapping sweaty clubs for leafy shrubs?
Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award: 'making a quip as funny as possible is an art'

Beyond a joke

Tim Vine, winner of the Funniest Joke of the Fringe award, has nigh-on 200 in his act. So how are they conceived?
The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

The late Peter O'Toole shines in 'Katherine of Alexandria' despite illness

Sadly though, the Lawrence of Arabia star is not around to lend his own critique
Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire: The joy of camping in a wetland nature reserve and sleeping under the stars

A wild night out

Wicken Fen in Cambridgeshire offers a rare chance to camp in a wetland nature reserve
Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition: It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans

Comic Sans for Cancer exhibition

It’s the font that’s openly ridiculed for its jaunty style, but figures of fun have their fans
Besiktas vs Arsenal: Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie

Besiktas vs Arsenal

Five things we learnt from the Champions League first-leg tie
Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

Rory McIlroy a smash hit on the US talk show circuit

As the Northern Irishman prepares for the Barclays, he finds time to appear on TV in the States, where he’s now such a global superstar that he needs no introduction
Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to Formula One

Boy racer Max Verstappen stays relaxed over step up to F1

The 16-year-old will become the sport’s youngest-ever driver when he makes his debut for Toro Rosso next season
Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

Fear brings the enemies of Isis together at last

But belated attempts to unite will be to no avail if the Sunni caliphate remains strong in Syria, says Patrick Cockburn
Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I would end up killing myself in jail'

Charlie Gilmour: 'I wondered if I'd end up killing myself in jail'

Following last week's report on prison suicides, the former inmate asks how much progress we have made in the 50 years since the abolition of capital punishment