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Injured Vonn helped by postponement of first race

WHISTLER, British Columbia - Warm, wet weather has turned this mountain into a mushy mess, wiping out training runs and postponing the opening women's Alpine race.

Hardly ideal conditions at any competition, let alone the Winter Olympics, right? Try telling that to Lindsey Vonn. She loves the way things are going. Every delay provides extra time for her badly bruised right shin to rest and heal.

"I'm lucking out pretty heavily because of all the cancellations," the American said Friday. "Normally, I would be disappointed. But for my shin, I think, this is the best possible scenario."

The first women's event, Sunday's super-combined, was put off because racers will not have had a chance to train on the downhill course. Practice was canceled for Friday and Saturday after Thursday's session was halted.

Much was unknown, including when the women will train and when the super-combined will be raced. Such schedule disruptions might distress plenty of people - from athletes to spectators, from Olympic and skiing officials to TV types - but certainly not Vonn. The two-time overall World Cup champion has been pegged as a medal contender in all five Alpine events.

But that was before Vonn revealed Wednesday that she badly bruised her right shin last week in pre-Olympic practice. She fell during a slalom training run and slammed her right boot against her leg. After taking "a bunch" of painkillers and rubbing Novocaine-like cream on the shin Thursday morning, Vonn did ski briefly and said the injury was progressing.

The men's downhill is still scheduled for Saturday despite a forecast for more rain on a mushy course.

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