Lindsey Vonn injured in World Cup super-G (video)

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ST. MORITZ, Switzerland (AP) — Lindsey Vonn finished a World Cup super-G in extreme pain Saturday and was treated by race doctors for a back injury.

The American star crossed the finish line in obvious distress, in 24th place and 1.56 seconds behind the winner, and slumped to the snow. She compressed her back on the fifth gate, according to U.S. Ski & Snowboard.

Vonn stayed in the finish house to be treated, and one hour later limped slowly into a waiting car to be driven from the St. Moritz course.

“Our U.S. Ski Team doctor checked me out and no imaging is needed,” was posted on Vonn’s social media. “Just need the joint and the muscles to calm down so I can move again.”

In a race interrupted several times by gusting crosswinds, Vonn wore the No. 4 bib and was left standing at the start gate during the first delay of about three minutes. She stayed warm with a thick jacket draped on her shoulders.

The surprise winner was Jasmine Flury of Switzerland, who had a career-best World Cup finish of fifth before Saturday.

MORE: Full results | Alpine season TV schedule

Starting No. 14, Flury raced down in bright sunshine and calm conditions to be one tenth of a second faster than teammate Michelle Gisin, who wore start bib No. 12.

Tina Weirather of Liechtenstein was third, .16 behind Flury. Weirather won the super-G last Sunday at Lake Louise, Canada, where Flury was seventh.

Mikaela Shiffrin, who won a downhill Saturday, was 20th. Julia Mancuso, racing this weekend for the first time since March 2015, skied out about 15 seconds into her run.

Before getting into her car, Vonn stopped to congratulate Flury standing in the leader’s box.

The hood of Vonn’s U.S. team jacket was up to shield her face from TV cameras tracking her departure.

On the hill where she was injured at the world championships in February, Swiss star Lara Gut crashed into course-side netting after seeming to lose balance in the cross wind.

She appeared unhurt and later said on social media she planned to race Sunday’s super-G.

A super combined — to make up for Friday’s canceled race — has also been scheduled for Sunday, adding a slalom run after the super-G and combining the times, according to NBC Sports’ Steve Porino.

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MORE: Lindsey Vonn explains uniquely placed tattoos

St. Moritz Super-G
1. Jasmine Flury (SUI) — 1:02.59
2. Michelle Gisin (SUI) — +.10
3. Tina Weirather (LIE) — +.16
20. Mikaela Shiffrin (USA) — +1.37
24. Lindsey Vonn (USA) — +1.56
29. Breezy Johnson (USA) — +1.94
30. Laurenne Ross (USA) — +1.98
35. Patricia Mangan (USA) — +2.23
45. Stacey Cook (USA) — +2.94
49. Alice Merryweather (USA) — +3.65
DNF. Julia Mancuso (USA)
DNF. Alice McKennis (USA)
DNF. Jacqueline Wiles (USA)

Lindsey Vonn wins 79th World Cup race as oldest downhill victor (video)

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Lindsey Vonn became the oldest woman to win a World Cup downhill with three weeks until the Olympics, notching her 79th career victory in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy, on Saturday.

In PyeongChang, she can become the oldest female Alpine medalist in Olympic history.

Vonn prevailed by .92 of a second over Liechtenstein’s Tina Weirather on Saturday, moving seven shy of Ingemar Stenmark‘s record of 86 World Cup victories.

“My focus right now is just so much on Olympics that I haven’t really thought about [the record] that much this season,” Vonn said. “After the Olympics, that will be my No. 1 priority again, and I’ll try to just rack up as many wins before I retire as possible.”

American Jackie Wiles was third to become the fifth U.S. female Alpine skier to qualify for PyeongChang, joining Vonn and Mikaela Shiffrin, among others. (full U.S. Olympic roster here)

Shiffrin was seventh in Saturday’s race in her least comfortable discipline.

Full results are here.

Vonn, 33, broke Austrian Elisabeth Goergl‘s record as the oldest woman to win a World Cup downhill. Goergl is still the oldest winner for any World Cup race, taking a super-G in 2014 at nearly 34 years old.

Vonn, already an Olympic medal favorite in downhill and super-G, won her first downhill since Jan. 21, 2017.

She had raced eight downhills in between with four podium finishes, including taking second to Italian Sofia Goggia on Friday in Cortina. Goggia failed to finish Saturday.

The World Cup continues with a super-G in Cortina on Sunday (5:30 a.m. ET, Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA, NBCSports.com/live and the NBC Sports app).

“Mentally, I feel like it’s the first podium I ever got,” Vonn said. “Back in 2004, I feel the same. I have the same motivation, the same drive, the same excitement. I love going fast. That’s never changed. The only thing that’s changed is my body is not as good as it once was, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t still win.

“I’ll keep going until my poor little knee gives out.”

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IOC approves unified Korea Olympic team, 22 North Korean athletes

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North and South Korean athletes will compete on the same team at the Olympics for the first time, while the IOC approved 22 North Koreans to compete overall in PyeongChang.

The IOC on Saturday approved the Koreas’ agreement to field a unified women’s hockey team and to march together in the Opening Ceremony behind the Korean Unification flag.

Twelve North Koreans have been added to the South Korean women’s hockey team. The other North Korean athletes will compete in figure skating, Alpine skiing, cross-country skiing and short track speed skating.

Full details are here.

“Today marks a milestone on a long journey,” IOC president Thomas Bach said. “Since 2014, the IOC has addressed the special situation of having the Olympic Winter Games 2018 on the Korean Peninsula. Until today, we met separately with the parties on a bilateral basis to address an often fast-changing political situation in a comprehensive way. Today is therefore a great day because the Olympic Spirit has brought all sides together. This was not an easy journey.”

At the Opening Ceremony on Feb. 9, one North Korean and one South Korean will carry the flag in the Parade of Nations. The Koreas previously marched together at the Opening Ceremonies in 2000, 2004 and 2006.

The hockey team will compete as “Korea,” under the unification flag and using the song “Arirang” as its anthem. North Koreans will compete under their own flag in all other sports.

North Korea did not qualify any spots for the Olympics, but the IOC had power to offer special invitations.

“Such an agreement would have seemed impossible only a few weeks ago,” Bach said. “The Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 are hopefully opening the door to a brighter future on the Korean peninsula.”

The 22 North Korean athletes mark more North Koreans at a Winter Olympics than the last six Winter Games combined.

North Korea had zero athletes in 2014 and two in 2010.

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