Lindsey Vonn

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

1 Comment

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

Simone Biles welcomed home with cheerleaders, band, police escort (video)

Simone Biles
Getty Images
Leave a comment

The celebration began the moment Simone Biles walked into Bush Airport in Houston on Wednesday.

Biles, after winning four gold medals at the Rio Olympics, arrived in her home state of Texas to the sounds of a band, sights of Houston Texans cheerleaders and much more.

Mayor Sylvester Turner declared Wednesday to be “Simone Biles Day” in Houston, handing the gymnast a paper proclamation.

“Hi guys, I’m Simone Biles, and I can’t thank everyone [enough] in all of Houston for coming out to see me today and to welcome me from Rio,” she said, laughing, on a podium at the airport. “I don’t know what else to say, I’m nervous, and I love you guys.”

Later, Biles was given a parade in her hometown of Spring, a Houston suburb, with a police escort.

Biles and the Final Five’s first stop on the way home from Rio was New York, where they went on a media tour earlier this week. They reached the top of the Empire State Building, visited Jimmy Fallon and saw “Hamilton.”

The Final Five will reunite for a USA Gymnastics tour of 36 cities, beginning Sept. 15.

MORE: Home videos of Simone Biles doing gymnastics

Gwen Jorgensen the latest Olympic triathlon star to move up to marathon

Gwen Jorgensen
Getty Images
Leave a comment

When Olympic triathlon champion Gwen Jorgensen lines up for her first 26.2-mile race at the New York City Marathon on Nov. 6, it will be hard to judge her performance.

Perhaps the best measure will be her time versus those of previous Olympic triathlon medalists in their marathon debuts.

Jorgensen is recognized as the greatest female runner among top-level female triathletes, perhaps of all time, with an ability to make up deficits of more than one minute on the 10km run after swimming 1,500 meters and biking 40 kilometers.

Swiss Nicola Spirig, the 2012 Olympic triathlon gold medalist, made her marathon debut in 2014 in 2:42:53. Sprig, though, had more long-distance racing experience than Jorgensen, including a half marathon.

Jorgensen, 30 and a former University of Wisconsin distance runner and swimmer, has never tackled more than 10 miles in training, according to The New York Times.

“When you ask athletes what they want to do after they win gold or the Super Bowl, they say they want to go to the happiest place on earth,” Jorgensen said, according to the newspaper. “Running is my happiest place. It’s my Disneyland.”

Portugal’s Vanessa Fernandes shared triathlon’s longest top-level international winning streak before Jorgensen strung together 13 wins in a row.

Fernandes, the 2008 Olympic triathlon silver medalist, clocked 2:31:25 in her first marathon, but it came in 2015, four years after her last elite international triathlon.

The 2015 New York City Marathon women’s winning time was 2:24:25 by Kenyan Mary Keitany. The top American, Laura Thweatt, ran 2:28:23.

This year’s American field may be stronger, with Olympic track distance runners Molly Huddle and Kim Conley making their marathon debuts.

Other Olympic triathlon medalists, including 2004 gold medalist Kate Allen and 2000 silver medalist Michellie Jones, have moved up to the Ironman — a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike and a marathon.

In 2014, Jorgensen said she didn’t see herself ever doing an Ironman.

MORE: What Jorgensen asked Ironman star Mirinda Carfrae