Lindsey Vonn

Lindsey Vonn will test knee on snow this week (TODAY video)

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Olympic downhill champion Lindsey Vonn is “very hopeful” about coming back from last week’s training crash but will have a better gauge on when she can return to competition later this week.

“I’ve been doing rehab, and I’ve been progressing every day, but in the next couple of days I’m going to start to get on snow here at Vail [Colo.] and see how it feels and hopefully get a couple of days of training before I head up to Canada,” Vonn told TODAY. “If things go well, I’ll be racing next week. If they don’t, then I’m going to have to reassess and kind of see where I stand and if I can make a comeback for this season.”

Vonn partially tore her right ACL in a training crash in Copper Mountain, Colo., on Nov. 19. It’s the same ACL she blew out in a crash at the World Championships in Schladming, Austria, in February.

“It was kind of a tricky course,” Vonn said of last week’s crash. “I caught my edge, flipped over my skis and went head first into the fence.”

A statement from her publicist last week said Vonn has “an eye at racing in Lake Louise,” which is next week’s World Cup stop in Alberta at a course she’s been known to dominate. The next World Cup speed events after that are in St. Moritz, Switzerland (Dec. 14, super-G) and Val d’Isere, France (Dec. 21-22, downhill, super-G).

“The fall caused my knee to give out,” she said. “If I hadn’t had my brace on, I definitely would not have had anything left in my knee. … I’m still confident. I still feel like I have a lot left to achieve this season, I just have to kind of take it day by day right now, but I still have time before Sochi.”

A photo was posted on Vonn’s social media accounts of her working out with tape on her right knee Tuesday.

“I just need to feel stable when I’m on my skis,” she said. “It’s one thing to feel stable while you’re doing squats. It’s another thing to feel stable while you’re actually racing at 90 miles an hour. There definitely is a long ways to go there, but I’m confident that it’s going to be OK. At this point, that’s all I can do — is stay positive. I’m kind of out of options at this point. I’m hoping that it’s going to be stable, and I’m hoping that I continue racing.”

U.S. Ski Team coach describes Vonn’s crash

Ida Keeling, 100 years old, sets world record at Penn Relays (video)

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Ida Keeling electrified the Penn Relays crowd with her 100-meter dash in 1 minute, 17.33 seconds on Saturday afternoon.

Keeling set a world record for fastest 100m by a woman 100 years and older. There is no data on USA Track and Field and masters athletics websites for a previous record holder.

“I’ll be 101 in a couple of weeks,” Keeling pointed out to NBC Sports’ Carolyn Manno after the race, a mixed-gender event for athletes 80 and older. “I’ve never seen nothing like this crowd. Maybe that’s what the excitement was.”

Keeling’s advice?

“Love yourself, do what you have to do and what you want to do,” she said. “Eat for nutrition, not for taste. And exercise at least once a day.”

More on Keeling is here.

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U.S. sprinters past, present trade relay barbs

Justin Gatlin
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PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The only loss for the Americans at the Penn Relays came in the men’s 4x100m, as the U.S. team bobbled its victory away on a bad baton handoff between Tyson Gay and Isiah Young for the final leg, which led to a disqualification.

Mike Rodgers and Justin Gatlin gave the Americans an early lead in the race, and things were moving along well during Gay’s third leg. But the muffed handoff for the final leg cost the Americans. Both the winning Jamaican squad and the second American team surpassed them.

Young finished third, but the team was disqualified because the handoff occurred outside the pass zone. The second U.S. team of Sean McLean, Wallace Spearman, Calesio Newman and Remontay McLain finished in 39.02.

The mistake led to some inflammatory comments from U.S. great Leroy Burrell about continued problems with handoffs by U.S. relay teams.

“Well, I think we’ve got to put our team together a little earlier, possibly,” Burrell said in a television interview. “I think, we’ve had the same coaches working with these guys for many years, and we’ve had failure after failure. So it’s possible that, you know, it might be time for a bit of a regime change with the leadership.

“I think the athletes have to be the catalysts that make that happen. There’s no reason why we shouldn’t be able to get the stick around. I saw thousands of relay teams yesterday — maybe not thousands, but hundreds of relay teams get it around. But the professionals can’t. That’s just not good for our sport.”

Rodgers didn’t take kindly to those remarks.

“People keep pointing their fingers and downing us, but nobody has ever tried to come out there and help us,” he said. “Nobody from the past. Not Carl [Lewis] or Leroy. They haven’t been out there. I can’t really respect their opinions because they’re supposed to be leaders in our sport and in the USA, and they’re not coming out there to drop some knowledge on us, so I don’t care what they have to say.”

Lewis criticized U.S. relays in March.

Gatlin was equally critical of Burrell.

“I’m tired of people who have been part of Team USA take shots at Team USA,” Gatlin said. “To put us in the same boat as high schoolers is insulting.”

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