Vancouver gold medalist Lindsey Vonn suffered a serious knee injury Tuesday during a crash at the super-G World Championships in Austria.
But the good news – if there can be any – is that the U.S. team expects her to be fully recovered in time for the next World Cup season, and for the Sochi Olympics, which kick off one year from Thursday.
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 lateral tibial plateau fracture – a breaking of the shin bone just below the knee that limits stablility and motion – all in her right knee.
Vonn could be heard screaming in pain after sliding to stop just off the course. Top rival Tina Maze of Slovenia, who eventually won the race, stood shocked, mouth open, as she watched the incident from the bottom of the hill, adding later that she felt “really sorry for Lindsey, who took a too direct line.”
Vonn said in an article written for the Denver Post on Monday that the weather conditions didn’t allow her or her team to check out the course. The race was also delayed for more than three hours because of fog and visibility conditions, which the International Ski Federation deemed an “extreme situation.”
Those lines came from Shiffrin’s father, Jeff — the mantra instilled in her and older brother Taylor, also a young ski racer at the time.
After Jeff died on Feb. 2, Shiffrin regularly remembered the question that Jeff posed years ago: “What are the golden rules?”
Be nice. Think first.
When the Shiffrin siblings were old enough, Jeff added the third rule.
“He felt like we could understand that having fun wasn’t just about going and doing whatever you want because it’s instantly gratifying,” Shiffrin told NBC Sports’ Alex Azzi in an On Her Turf interview. “Fun is doing something well and the satisfaction you get from sticking to something.”
She plans to race all season with the golden rules sticker on her helmet, right next to ABFTTB.
Shiffrin detailed more about her prep for a very different World Cup campaign, in conjunction with a new fund in honor of her late father, in this On Her Turf report.