“Today I am making the difficult decision to end my season and leave the World Cup circuit due to an injury I suffered last Saturday,” Lindsey Vonn announced via her Facebook page on Wednesday morning. “Because I am currently leading the Overall World Cup standings, this is one of the toughest decisions of my career.”
Vonn crashed in the Andorra super G race last weekend and was taken off the hill in a sled. Initial medical examinations revealed a hairline fracture in her knee, but Vonn felt well enough the next day to race the alpine combined in which she finished first in the super G but ended up 13th place after the slalom run.
“When I crashed on Saturday in Andorra, I fractured my tibial plateau,” she continued in her Facebook post. “The traditional X-rays that were taken that afternoon showed a hairline fracture, but the tibial plateau appeared to be stable and did not pose significant risk to competing. So I raced on Sunday.”
The initial diagnosis did not give a full picture of the damage and since Andorra, she has traveled to Barcelona, Spain, for further examination.
“After the Super Combined on Sunday, I went to Barcelona where more precise MRI and CT equipment was available and scans were performed on Tuesday morning. Those images showed that there was not just 1 hairline fracture, but in fact 3. And the fractures are not hairline, but instead they are significant enough that they are not sufficiently stable to permit me to safely continue skiing.”
With her sights set firmly on the 2017 World Championships in St. Mortiz, Switzerland, and the Olympic Games in PyeongChang, South Korea, in 2018, she deemed the risk of permanent damage too high.
It is now highly unlikely that Vonn will win the overall title since her closest rival Lara Gut will have several more opportunities to score valuable World Cup points. Even without the overall globe, Vonn has set several records this season including “breaking the World Cup downhill win record, breaking the World Cup super G podium record, and winning the most World Cup discipline titles – 20 – of any skier, male or female,” she said in her post. She also recently secured the 2016 World Cup downhill globe.
Vonn now begins the recovery and comeback process once again. Perhaps she will rely on her own advice to ensure another successful comeback.