FLASHBACK: Lindsey Vonn’s injury history

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Lindsey Vonn’s crash at the Alpine Worlds on Tuesday was certainly the most severe injury of her career, as she tore two ligaments in her right knee during the super-G. But it’s not the first time the American has been injured on the slopes, particularly at important events.

Here’s a brief history of Vonn’s injuries:

2006 Olympics
Vonn crashed in a downhill training run and was taken off the mountain via helicopter. She suffered a bruised hip but competed two days later, finishing eighth in the event.

2007 World Championships
Vonn crashed in a slalom training run and suffered a sprained ACL, which ended her season. Before the crash, she earned silver medals in the downhill and super-G.

2009 World Championships
Vonn won the downhill title at the 2009 Worlds, and then while celebrating she cut her right thumb on a broken champagne bottle. The incident left her with a cut tendon, which required surgery. She ended the Worlds with gold medals in the downhill and super-G.

2009-10 World Cup
Vonn crashed during a World Cup giant slalom run in December – shortly before the 2010 Olympics – and bruised her arm. There was no fracture and she continued to ski.

2010 Olympics
A week before the Games started, Vonn bruised her shin during a training run. She called the pain “excruciating” when she tried to put on a ski boot. She skied through the pain to win gold in the downhill and bronze in the super-G.

During the giant slalom, Vonn crashed and broke her right pinkie. She later crashed out of the super-combined after falling during a slalom run.

2011 World Championships
Vonn crashed during a training run one week before the 2011 Worlds started and suffered a concussion. She raced anyway, finishing second in the downhill and seventh in the super-G.

2012-13 World Cup
Vonn suffered from an intestinal illness early in the season and missed two races. After returning briefly to the slopes, she decided to take an extended break over the holiday season before returning in early January.

2013 World Championships
In her first race on the opening day of the competition, Vonn crashed hard in her super-G run and was airlifted to the hospital. Doctors said she tore two ligaments in her right knee.

Here’s a video of today’s crash at the World Championships:

Vic Wild finds much different welcome at PyeongChang

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PYEONGCHANG, South Korea (AP) — It was a feel-good love story about snowboarders that made Russia smile.

Four years later, Vic Wild and Alena Zavarzina are still married and still riding.

But boy did this get complicated.

Wild, the American-born rider who now competes for Russia, finished out of the medals, same as his wife, at the parallel giant slalom Saturday, closing a sad chapter to a journey that began as a fairy tale but turned into a drama about cheating, doping and figuring out who was to blame.

It was a small part of a much larger story about the strained, scandal-tainted relationship between Russia, the Olympics and the rest of the world.

“For 18 months, the IOC never told me anything,” Wild said after losing in the round-of-16 in a contest taken by Switzerland’s Nevin Galmarini. “No one would tell me if, somehow, some way, I was involved. That definitely put some gray hairs on my head.”

Read the full story at NBCOlympics.com

How Arianna Fontana quietly skated into short track history

Arianna Fontana
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Arianna Fontana is silently one of the greatest short track skaters in Olympic history.

Her numbers at the Games speak for themselves; one gold, two silver, and five bronze. Those eight total medals make her the most decorated female short track skater by two medals, and tie her with legends Apolo Ohno and Viktor Ahn for most Olympic medals ever won by a short track skater.

But it is her numbers outside the Olympic stage that really call attention to her Olympic success. She is a 14-time world medalist, which is no small feat, but her podium appearances are spread over a 12-year competitive career. Someone like Elise Christie, for example, has won 12 world championships medals in just five years. And also unlike Christie, Fontana has never won an overall title.

But Christie struggled on the sport’s biggest stage in both Sochi and PyeongChang, and has yet to win her first Olympic medal. Fontana, on the other hand, has become such a consistent podium presence over the last two Games that she almost makes it look easy.

Before retiring from competition, Ohno won 21 world medals, eight of them gold. Ahn, still competing but not one of the athletes invited to competed at the PyeongChang Olympics as an Olympic Athlete from Russia, has to date has won 35 world medals, 20 of which were gold.

Fontana does not come from a short track power like South Korea or China, perhaps another reason why she is not more notorious.

Most of her medals are bronze, which could be used as a strike against her, but just ask Lindsey Vonn how hard she worked to get hers this year.

Fontana’s first medal came at the 2006 Torino Olympics, when she helped the Italian women to bronze in the 3000m relay at just 15 years old. Fontana earned her first individual medal, a bronze in the 500m, four years later in Vancouver.

But in Sochi, she exploded, making the podium in three out of four events: the 500m, where she won silver, and the 1500m and 3000m relay, where she picked up two more bronzes.

“I thought I was going to win a gold medal in Sochi but I still don’t have that,” Fontana said to the ISU in early 2017. “That’s there up in my mind and sometimes it comes out and says, ‘Hey, you still miss me? So come get me!'”.

But after the 2014-15 season, Fontana’s desire for gold was eclipsed by something else: burnout.

“I was pretty tired mentally. My body was ready to race again but my mind was not. It was hard for me. After the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, I had some doubts about whether to keep skating or not,” Fontana said to the ISU. “Maybe it would have been better to take that year right after the Olympic Games off, but I decided to keep going. It is not that I regret it, but I had some hard times that season.”

She stayed active during her time off, learning how to box, which eased the transition back to skating.

Her pursuit for gold was what motivated her comeback, and in 2018 Fontana got what she came back for.

“When I saw I was first, I was just yelling and started crying. I worked for four years and the last four months were really hard for me. I was really focused on getting here in the best shape ever,” Fontana said after earning the 500m Olympic title.

“I was chasing it and finally I got it.”

In addition to her 500m gold medal, Fontana also added a 1000m bronze and 3000m relay bronze.

Fontana has spoken about retirement, but has not made a definitive decision. She will only be 31 years old by the time 2022 rolls around, so she could feasibly add to her medal haul if she competes. What she has made clear is that when she does leave the sport she hopes to become a personal trainer.

Whenever she does retire Fontana should be considered not only one of the greatest Italian athletes or greatest short track skaters, but also one of the greatest Winter Olympians.