Lindsey Vonn says she won't compete at Sochi

  • Article by: RACHEL BLOUNT , Star Tribune
  • Updated: January 7, 2014 - 1:19 PM

When Lindsey Vonn made a promotional visit to Afton Alps last fall, the Burnsville native was presented with a giant card signed by hundreds of people who had come to see her. The Olympic champion in downhill skiing had just returned to the slopes after a serious knee injury, and among the messages of support and luck, one wary person wrote: Don’t get hurt.

Vonn reinjured her right knee in November, and that led to a broken heart when she announced Tuesday that she will not compete at the upcoming Winter Olympics.

Vonn, 29, said via her Facebook page that she would soon undergo another knee surgery and hopes to compete in the 2015 world championships in her current hometown of Vail, Colo.

“I am devastated to announce that I will not be able to compete in Sochi,’’ Vonn said in her Facebook post Tuesday morning. “I did everything I possibly could to somehow get strong enough to overcome having no ACL. But the reality has sunk in that my knee is just too unstable to compete at this level.’’

Vonn tore the anterior cruciate ligament and medial collateral ligament in her right knee in a crash at the world championships last February. After intense rehabilitation, she returned to snow in late August, earlier than projected, and planned to return to competition in late November. She reinjured the knee when she crashed in training for that event in Beaver Creek, Colo., partially tearing the reconstructed ACL, but she missed only one weekend of racing.

Vonn competed at Lake Louise, Alberta, in early December. She then injured the knee again in Val d’Isere, France, spraining the MCL.

Bill Marolt, president of the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association, said he expects Vonn will be able to return to competition. With a U.S.-record 59 victories on the World Cup circuit, she is three shy of tying the all-time record held by Annemarie Moser-Proell of Austria.

“In looking ahead, I have every ounce of confidence that Lindsey will be in the starting gate next World Cup season, ready to compete,’’ Marolt said. “She knows the hard work it takes to get to the top and still has significant goals to achieve in what has been an incredible career.’’

Her personal publicist, Lewis Kay, said in a statement that Vonn "will have surgery shortly," according to The Associated Press.

When Vonn returned to competition in December at Lake Louise, she finished well behind the leaders in two downhill runs and fifth in a super-G race. After skiing there, Vonn still sounded optimistic, declaring she would be in Sochi, "fighting for my medal."

But at Val d'Isere, France, on December 21, her knee gave out during a downhill run, causing her to miss a gate and be disqualified. The Associated Press reported at the time that she didn't fall, but grimaced as she pulled up and clutched at her knee.

Kay said Tuesday that an MRI after that episode "showed an MCL sprain, which coupled with the torn ACL, has made it impossible to stabilize her knee and be ready to safely ski again next month."

Over the weekend, U.S. ski team coach Alex Hoedlmoser said that Vonn had not trained on snow since the Val d'Isere incident.

Vonn was the World Cup overall champion from 2008 to 2010, and won the title for a fourth time in 2012.

Mikaela Shiffrin, the reigning world champion in slalom, and Julia Mancuso, a three-time Olympic medalist, will now be the American women with the best chance of stepping on the Alpine skiing podium in Sochi.

Shiffrin, the U.S. teenager who has been labeled the "next Vonn" by some, wrote on Twitter: "It's hard to swallow that @lindseyvonn won't be competing in Sochi, but I'm incredibly impressed at her determination. She's a true #hero."

Another American ski racer, Stacey Cook, posted on Facebook: "Bummed Lindsey Vonn. Our team is not the same without you. You leave big shoes to fill for the rest of the year. ..."

 

The Associated Press contributed to this story

  • related content

  • MINNESOTA TOPICS: Lindsey Vonn

    Find the latest news and information about Lindsey Vonn.

  • Lindsey Vonn of the USA, waits in the finish area during the women's...

  • Lindsey Vonn

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

New England 2/1/15 5:30 PM
Seattle
Milwaukee 6:00 PM
Orlando
New York 6:00 PM
Indiana
Denver 7:00 PM
Memphis
Chicago 9:30 PM
LA Lakers
Montreal 6:00 PM
NY Rangers
Winnipeg 6:00 PM
Philadelphia
Boston 6:00 PM
NY Islanders
Arizona 6:30 PM
Toronto
Dallas 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Detroit 6:30 PM
Tampa Bay
Columbus 6:30 PM
Florida
Nashville 7:00 PM
St. Louis
Minnesota 8:00 PM
Calgary
Buffalo 8:30 PM
Edmonton
Anaheim 9:00 PM
San Jose
DePaul 72 FINAL
Providence 83
Michigan State 5:00 PM
Rutgers
Boston Univ 6:00 PM
Army
Fla Atlantic 6:00 PM
Charlotte
Youngstown St 6:00 PM
Detroit
East Tenn St 6:00 PM
Furman
Saint Louis 6:00 PM
George Mason
USC Upstate 6:00 PM
Jacksonville
High Point 6:00 PM
Liberty
Central Conn St 6:00 PM
Long Island
Western Ky 6:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
Dayton 6:00 PM
Massachusetts
Chattanooga 6:00 PM
Mercer
Wofford 6:00 PM
UNC Greensboro
Maryland 6:00 PM
Ohio State
FIU 6:00 PM
Old Dominion
Fair-Dickinson 6:00 PM
Robert Morris
Mount St Marys 6:00 PM
St Francis-NY
Bryant 6:00 PM
St Francis-PA
Northern Ky 6:00 PM
Stetson
Coll of Charleston 6:00 PM
Towson
Western Carolina 6:00 PM
Va Military
Sacred Heart 6:00 PM
Wagner
Lipscomb 6:00 PM
Fla Gulf Coast
Kennesaw St 6:00 PM
North Florida
Appalachian St 6:30 PM
Ga Southern
Holy Cross 6:30 PM
Loyola-Maryland
Eastern Ill 6:30 PM
UT Martin
Jacksonville St 7:00 PM
Belmont
Connecticut 7:00 PM
Cincinnati
Rider 7:00 PM
Saint Peters
SIU Edwardsville 7:00 PM
SE Missouri St
Marshall 7:00 PM
Southern Miss
Tenn Tech 7:00 PM
Tennessee St
Middle Tennessee 7:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Ill-Chicago 7:00 PM
Milwaukee
Weber State 7:00 PM
North Dakota
Denver 7:00 PM
North Dakota St
IUPU-Ft Wayne 7:00 PM
South Dakota
Louisiana 7:05 PM
South Alabama
Georgia State 7:15 PM
Texas-Arlington
Ark-Little Rock 7:30 PM
Arkansas State
ULM 7:30 PM
Troy
Portland 8:00 PM
Gonzaga
Kentucky 8:00 PM
Missouri
Eastern Ky 8:00 PM
Murray State
UAB 8:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Idaho State 8:00 PM
Northern Colorado
UMKC 8:00 PM
Grand Canyon
Chicago State 8:05 PM
Utah Valley U
Colorado 8:30 PM
USC
Cal Poly 9:00 PM
UC Irvine
Hawaii 9:00 PM
CS-Northridge
Pepperdine 9:00 PM
Pacific
Santa Clara 9:00 PM
San Diego
Utah 9:00 PM
UCLA
UC Santa Barbara 9:00 PM
UC Davis
Montana 9:05 PM
Portland State
Montana State 9:05 PM
Sacramento St
Long Beach State 9:30 PM
Cal State Fullerton
Loyola Marymount 9:30 PM
St Marys-CA
San Francisco 10:00 PM
BYU
California 10:00 PM
Washington St
Louisiana 47 FINAL
South Alabama 57
Saint Josephs 51 FINAL
Saint Louis 52
Appalachian St 4 1st Half 18:02
Georgia Southern 2
Niagara 3 1st Half 16:55
Saint Peters 5
Old Dominion 5:00 PM
FIU
Southern Miss 5:00 PM
Marshall
Georgia State 5:00 PM
TX-Arlington
Ark-Little Rock 5:05 PM
Arkansas State
ULM 5:15 PM
Troy
Pittsburgh 5:30 PM
(17) Duke
(6) Tennessee 6:00 PM
(10) Kentucky
(24) Oklahoma 6:00 PM
(14) Texas
Nebraska Omaha 6:00 PM
IUPU-Ft Wayne
UC-Riverside 6:00 PM
CS-Northridge
Army 6:00 PM
Boston U
New Orleans 6:00 PM
Nicholls
Charlotte 6:00 PM
Florida Atlantic
Towson 6:00 PM
Delaware
Hofstra 6:00 PM
Northeastern
New Hampshire 6:00 PM
Maine
Albany 6:00 PM
Vermont
Hartford 6:00 PM
Stony Brook
UNC-Wilmington 6:00 PM
William & Mary
Clemson 6:00 PM
Wake Forest
Alabama 6:00 PM
(1) South Carolina
(23) Syracuse 6:00 PM
(8) Louisville
Missouri 6:00 PM
Florida
Iona 6:00 PM
Fairfield
Manhattan 6:00 PM
Marist
NC State 6:00 PM
Virginia
(4) Notre Dame 6:00 PM
Virginia Tech
(22) Rutgers 6:00 PM
Purdue
(5) Maryland 6:00 PM
Michigan
Milwaukee 6:00 PM
Cleveland State
Wright State 6:00 PM
Oakland
Jacksonville 6:00 PM
USC Upstate
North Florida 6:00 PM
Kennesaw St
Stetson 6:00 PM
Northern Ky
Loyola-Maryland 6:05 PM
Holy Cross
Lamar 6:30 PM
Sam Houston St
Fla Gulf Coast 6:30 PM
Lipscomb
Vanderbilt 7:00 PM
(18) Miss State
IUPUI 7:00 PM
Western Ill
Abilene Christian 7:00 PM
Houston Baptist
Incarnate Word 7:00 PM
TX A&M-CC
McNeese State 7:00 PM
SE Louisiana
Oral Roberts 7:00 PM
South Dakota St
Louisiana Tech 7:00 PM
Western Ky
TX-San Antonio 7:00 PM
Middle Tennessee
Texas-El Paso 7:00 PM
UAB
Auburn 7:00 PM
Arkansas
Grand Canyon 7:00 PM
UMKC
Illinois 7:00 PM
(15) Nebraska
(20) Iowa 7:00 PM
Northwestern
Utah Valley U 7:05 PM
Chicago State
Green Bay 7:05 PM
Valparaiso
Ole Miss 8:00 PM
LSU
Portland State 8:00 PM
Montana
Sacramento St 8:00 PM
Montana State
North Dakota 8:00 PM
Weber State
Ohio State 8:00 PM
Wisconsin
Northern Colorado 8:00 PM
Idaho State
BYU 9:00 PM
San Francisco
St Marys-CA 9:00 PM
Loyola Marymount
Pacific 9:00 PM
Pepperdine
Cal-Irvine 9:00 PM
UC Santa Barbara
San Diego 9:00 PM
Santa Clara
UC Davis 9:00 PM
Cal Poly
Long Beach St 10:59 PM
Hawaii

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Which of these teams is the most frustrating to watch right now?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close