LAKE LOUISE, Alta. -- Lindsey Vonn was cleared to get back on a World Cup course for downhill training, the latest step as she works to return from a right knee injury and get ready for the Sochi Olympics. Now Vonn -- and the rest of the skiing world -- will wait to find out whether shell actually be racing by the end of this week. The four-time overall World Cup champion and reigning Olympic downhill gold medallist is expected to start in Wednesdays first official training session at Lake Louise, the U.S. Ski Team said Tuesday. The team added that not until Thursday would a decision be made on whether Vonn will return to competition for the first time since tearing right knee ligaments in a high-speed crash at the world championships last February. The scheduled races at Lake Louise -- a site Vonn has dominated in the past, including three-victory sweeps in 2011 and 2012 -- are downhills on Friday and Saturday, with a super-G on Sunday. Vonn will start 10th in Wednesdays training run. "Shes trying to come back as quick as possible, and it just happens to be that Lake Louise is on the (schedule) right now," U.S. womens coach Alex Hoedlmoser said. "Its a very good place for her to come back and try because shes very familiar with the course and had success here." The U.S. Ski Team said Vonn "felt strong" after doing super-G training in her hometown of Vail, Colo., last weekend, and that her surgeon, Dr. Bill Sterett, feels "her knee is stable." "I hope she is in good shape. I hope shes fit," said Atle Skaardal, the womens race director for the International Ski Federation (FIS). "Because racing downhill is not something you do if you are not in too good shape." Originally, Tuesday was supposed to be the first day of downhill training, but that was called off because of travel delays from the womens previous World Cup stop at Beaver Creek, Colo. Vonn was working toward a return to racing there last week, until wiping out during a training run on Nov. 19, and partially tearing a ligament in her surgically repaired knee. The American told The Associated Press over the weekend that she needs another operation on her knee but is trying to put it off as long as possible in order to be able to ski at the Sochi Games, which begin in a little more than two months. Vonn is three race wins from equaling the World Cup womens record of 62 held by Austrias Annemarie Moser-Proell. Of her 59 career World Cup race victories, 14 have come at Lake Louise in the Canadian Rockies. She is so successful -- and comfortable -- on this particular slope, she petitioned FIS in October 2012 to allow her to compete in a mens World Cup race at Lake Louise. That request was turned down. "This is kind of her playground here," Skaardal said, "and she could probably not ask for a better place to do a comeback." Rafael Benitez has agreed a three-year deal to stay on as Newcastle United manager. Sky Sports News HQ reported earlier on Wednesday that the Spaniard had struck a deal to extend his tenure, despite failing to prevent the teams drop to the Championship.The 56-year-old signed a three-year contract when replacing Steve McClaren in March, but the agreement was reported to include an option to cancel at the end of the season. However, the club have managed to persuade Benitez to remain at St James Park and announced the news on Wednesday evening. Benitez shakes hands with managing director Lee Charnley after signing his new contract A statement on the clubs website read: Newcastle are delighted to confirm that Rafa Benitez will remain as Newcastle United manager, after signing a new initial three-year contract.On Wednesday afternoon the Spaniard put pen to paper on the deal which will keep him on Tyneside until at least the summer of 2019. Benitez will have day-to-day responsibility for all football-related matters at the club. Rafa convinced How Newcastle persuaded their man to stay on Although the club dropped out of the top flight, Benitez reignited their campaign in the last two months, leading them to three wins and a six-game unbeaten run, which culminated in a 5-1 demolition of Tottenham on the final day of the season.Benitez said: I am extremely pleased to be staying at Newcastle United. The love I could feel from the fans was a big influence for me in my decision to stay, as was my relationshhip with Lee Charnley and all the staff.dddddddddddd Newcastle odds-on for promotion Toons Championship odds slashed after Benitez agrees to stay This is a huge club and I wanted to be part of the great future I can see for Newcastle United.Managing director Lee Charnley added: When we brought Rafa to the club in March, we knew he was a phenomenal manager and everything we have seen from him since has only served to reinforce that.We are therefore delighted to have secured his services for the next three years and I believe with Rafa as manager it gives us the best possible chance of returning to the Premier League at the first time of asking and delivering success for this football club beyond that. Newcastle fans urged Benitez to stay despite the clubs relegation It is clear that Rafa has connected deeply with the clubs supporters and we do not underestimate the role they have played in his decision to stay.He has captured the hearts and minds not just of the fans, but of everyone who has had the pleasure of working with him at the club thus far. As a world-class manager we had no doubt in our minds as to the importance of retaining him at Newcastle United.A further announcement regarding Benitezs coaching staff will be made in due course. Also See: How Newcastle convinced Rafa From the Bernabeu to Burton Wijnaldum devastated at drop When does your season start? Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys Jerseys From China Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys Cheap Jerseys
' ' '