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.”
See the crash here:
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With a bronze medal in Lake Placid earlier today, Kendall Wesenberg became the first American to reach the World Cup podium in skeleton in two years.
Wesenberg, who finished 17th at her first Olympics in PyeongChang, had a combined time of 1:51.10 in Lake Placid. Prior to today, her last podium finish at the World Cup was in St. Moritz in January 2017.
“This has never been my strongest track, so we really broke it down piece by piece, and I think it paid off,” Wesenberg said, according to USA Bobsled and Skeleton. “The second run, I kind of tried to throw it away at the top there. By the time I made it to corner 10, I was just thinking ‘build speed, build speed.”
Wesenberg, 28, grew up in California’s Central Valley, but her interest in sliding sports piqued while watching the 2010 Vancouver Games. When the commentators discussed the athletic backgrounds of the athletes, Wesenberg realized she played some of the same sports growing up. A quick Google search brought her to the USA Bobsled and Skeleton page. She told her siblings she was thinking of trying skeleton. They said she’d never do it. Challenge accepted.
Wesenberg emailed a U.S. coach and signed up for a combine and driving training in January 2011. Seven years later, she was sliding on Olympic ice.
Sliding coverage continues today on Olympic Channel: Home of Team USA, with women’s bobsled live at 3:15 p.m. ET and men’s bobsled live at 4:15.