Despite the grisly picture that Lindsey Vonn tweeted of her knee last week, the Vancouver downhill gold medalist says she’s pleased with her progress, and is recovering ahead of schedule after tearing two knee ligaments during a crash at worlds three weeks ago.
That’s the good news. But Vonn also said during a conference call that she was unhappy about her injury and believes the race on February 5 should have been postponed due to what the FIS called “extreme conditions” in Schladming, Austria.
The super-G was actually postponed more than three hours that day due to fog, and Vonn said she “did not think it was safe” to race because of soft snow: “Athletes’ safety should come first.”
Vonn lost her balance on a hard landing that ripped her left ski off and sent her tumbling down the mountain. She tore her ACL and MCL and suffered a tibial plateau fracture, all in her right knee.
The day before the race, Vonn had written an article for the Denver Post stating her frustration regarding the course being closed to skiers and coaches because of snow conditions. She said no one on her team had been able to evaluate it before the super-G race:
“We were here last year for the World Cup finals, so I feel like I know the hill pretty well, but it always feels a little awkward when you don’t get a chance to free ski the hill before you race. It’s tricky to know the terrain when all you have to go on is course inspection the morning of the race.”
She’s expected back before the next World Cup season, and well before she’s set to compete in Sochi.
“I’m not extremely concerned when I’m going to be back,” Vonn added during the call. “I just want to make sure that when I do get back my knee is 100 percent. It doesn’t take a lot of training for me to be ready to race again.”
Co-Olympic super-G bronze medalist Jan Hudec was granted a request by Alpine Canada to represent the Czech Republic next season after being left off Canada’s national team.
Hudec, 34, wasn’t eligible for Canada’s national team after racing once in 2015-16 due to the latest of his many knee surgeries, according to Alpine Canada.
“It is important to know that we continued to work with Jan after the team selection was announced, and let him know that we were more then willing to find accommodation that would enable him to return to the team,” Alpine Canada said in a press release. “However, at this stage of Jan’s career, he is making a decision that can best meet his desire to fulfill and lead a different way of life, that reaches beyond ski racing.”
The International Ski Federation must still grant Hudec’s request. Hudec was born in the Czech Republic.
At the Sochi Olympics, Hudec shared bronze with Bode Miller in the super-G. He is also the 2007 World Championships downhill silver medalist and a two-time winner of World Cup races.
The 2016-17 Alpine skiing World Cup season is expected to begin in Soelden, Austria, in late October.
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Estonian sisters Leila, Liina and Lily Luik are set to become what is believed to be the first set of triplets to compete in an Olympics, according to Games historians.
The Luiks, identical triplets born Oct. 14, 1985, remain the only Estonian women to meet the Olympic qualifying time for the marathon. And since a nation can send three qualified athletes to the Olympic marathon, all three are in line to go to Rio.
The Estonia athletics federation’s qualifying cutoff is Wednesday. It doesn’t believe any other Estonians will register an Olympic qualifying time by then.
With most marathons taking place on weekends, it appears the Luiks are safe, even though none has run faster than 2:37, and the Olympic medal winners will likely be running in the low-to-mid 2:20s.
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