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American gold medal Alpine skier Lindsey Vonn sat down for an exclusive interview with Matt Lauer on TODAY Monday morning to discuss her recovery from a surgery to repair two knee ligaments following a devastating crash at the world championships earlier this month.
“I struggled definitely the first few days after the injury,” Vonn told Lauer. “Right now my goal is to be back for 2014 in Sochi. Honestly, in a worst-case scenario, if I trained a week before the Games, I’d be fine.”
It had been a tough season already for Vonn, who was sidelined for weeks with an intestinal illness and fatigue. Still, she managed to score six World Cup victories and be back in top form for worlds. But a bad landing on opening day sent her tumbling down the mountain in Schladming, Austria.
“I just went off the jump, flew too far, and landed in a pile of snow that hadn’t been cleared away,” she said. “It essentially stopped my feet on impact, and my knee just completely buckled.”
Vonn tore her right ACL and MCL and and suffered a tibial plateau fracture during her final run on the super-G course. But while she could be heard screaming in pain, Vonn says she “didn’t think it was going to be the end of my career.”
Vonn posted a grisly picture of her knee on Facebook last week, while joking about her fancy crutches and having to wear long skirts all summer. She’s already rehabbing with two one-hour sessions each day and promises to be ready in time next year’s Winter Olympics.
“I feel like I have a lot more left to do. I have plenty of time to be ready for Sochi.”
JEONGSEON, South Korea — The United States has a fixation at the Olympics on winning gold. Lindsey Vonn showed Wednesday how to win bronze.
“I skied a great race today,” Vonn also said. “Sofia [Goggia] just skied better than I did.”
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She also said she hoped she had made her grandfather proud. Dabbing away tears, she said: “It’s sad. This is my last [Olympic] downhill. I wish I could keep going, you know? I had so much fun. I love what I do. My body just can’t — probably can’t — take another four years. But — I don’t know, I’m proud. I’m proud to have competed for my country. Proud to have given it my all. I’m proud to have … come away with a medal.”
Pilot Mariama Jamanka and Lisa Buckwitz won Germany’s latest gold in a sliding sport in PyeongChang, defeating Team USA’s Elana Meyers Taylor sled by 0.07 seconds. Meyers Taylor, along with brakeman Lauren Gibbs, matched the silver she won in Sochi.
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Jamanka led after two runs, and delivered in Run 3, setting a track record with a phenomenal run down the course. She hit the lines perfectly to put the pressure on Meyers Taylor — and Meyers Taylor, who has dealt with an achilles injury in PyeongChang, delivered with a course record of her own. She was 0.07 seconds back after two runs, but closed the gap to 0.04 heading into the final run.
The stage was set for a thrilling final leg. It, too, did not disappoint. Elana Meyers had her best run of the Games, but Jamanka matched it, to give Germany yet another win on the PyeongChang sliding course.
To read the full recap, click here
Gold: Mariama Jamanka and Lisa Buckwitz (GER) – 3:22.45
Silver: Elana Meyers-Taylor and Lauren Gibbs (USA) – 3:22.52
Bronze: Kaillee Humphries and Phylicia George (CAN) – 3:22.89
4. Annika Drazek and Stephanie Schneider (GER) – 3:22.97
5. Jamie Greubel Poser and Aja Evans (USA) – 3:23.02