Last season’s overall World Cup champion Lindsey Vonn announced Monday that she will take an indefinite break from competition.
“After talking with my family and consulting with my coaches and trainers, I have decided to take a break from the World Cup circuit,” reads a statement of Vonn’s website. “Since my intestinal infection last month, I have been struggling with my energy and strength. I believe that some time off the mountain will help me regain the physical strength that I require to compete at the level that I demand from myself.”
In an interview with People Magazine published Thursday, the Olympic gold medalist disclosed that she’s been suffering from depression for many years and currently takes an anti-depressant to help manage her symptoms. But in that same report, Vonn said she’s currently happier than she’s been in a long time.
“I want to be emphatic that this has nothing to do with my recent interview with People Magazine. I had completed that interview weeks before I was in the hospital with the intestinal infection,” Vonn went on to say.
Women’s Head Coach Alex Hoedlmoser said Vonn is heading back to the U.S. to focus on her recovery. She will certainly miss the tech races in Are this week and very possibly the races in Semmering Dec. 28-29.
“I want to thank my sponsors for their continued support,” said Vonn. “Most of all I want to thank my fans for all of the kind words and love you have shared with me. I wish all of you a happy and healthy holiday and look forward to getting back on the mountain in the new year.”
Vonn, who was hospitalized for several days in November but appeared to be regaining strength, has had mixed results this season, winning the first three speed events in Lake Louise and the super G in St. Moritz. But she has struggled in most of the other races.
Over the weekend, Vonn sustained her first downhill crash since 2007 (she has had a few in downhill combined during that period), and she did not finish her first run of the giant slalom on Sunday. By most estimations, Vonn had already dug herself a sizable hole in the overall standings this season. -GM