(Reuters) - Olympic ski champion Lindsey Vonn’s quest to race against men has been put on hold after the International Ski Federation (FIS) delayed a decision until next May.
Vonn’s application to test herself against the men in a World Cup race was reviewed late on Tuesday during a preliminary meeting of the FIS Alpine Executive Board in Zurich. However, as the American’s proposal was for the 2018-19 World Cup season the motion was pushed back until May, U.S. Ski and Snowboard said in a statement.
It had submitted the proposal as a one-time exception for Vonn, who has won an unprecedented 77 women’s World Cups and is closing in on the men’s mark of 86 held by Ingemar Stenmark.
The proposal will be discussed with FIS officials during the season and will be on the agenda when the organisation meets in Greece in mid-May for its biennial congress.
U.S. officials viewed the decision as a positive first step to working with FIS on a plan that would provide Vonn with an opportunity and create a showcase event to promote the sport.
“There is support for the proposal among members of the executive board but also many points to clarify with FIS,” said U.S. Ski & Snowboard Alpine Director Patrick Riml in a statement.
“We’re encouraged by the discussion and the fact that we now have a formal proposal in front of FIS which we can review with FIS in more detail during the season ahead,” he said.
Reporting by Steve Keating in Toronto; Editing by Susan Fenton