Lindsey Vonn appeared to escape major injury after falling and sliding into netting in her first run of a World Cup giant slalom in Maribor, Slovenia, on Saturday.
Vonn, in her first race since the World Championships, was late and wide going into a turn, lost her balance, fell to the snow and slid into nearby netting with her skis coming off. Officials tended to her. She was later shown on camera standing on her own, smiling and waving.
Later in the finish area, Vonn “looked in pain and limped as she was escorted out,” according to The Associated Press. Vonn underwent major right knee surgeries the previous two seasons that forced her to miss the Sochi Olympics.
“She hit her back on the B-net poles pretty hard, but should be all good,” U.S. Alpine director Patrick Riml said.
Vonn led by .09 after the only intermediate split time, 28 seconds into the 1-minute, 11-second race. She was skiing a World Cup giant slalom for the first time in more than two years.
Austrian Anna Fenninger earned the victory, topping German Viktoria Rebensburg by a combined .04 over two runs. Liechtenstein’s Tina Weirather was third. Mikaela Shiffrin was fifth.
Fenninger, the World champion in giant slalom, moved to within 84 points of World Cup overall leader Tina Maze, who skied out in the first run.
In the men’s World Cup, Austria swept the podium in a downhill in Saalbach, Austria — Matthias Mayer, Max Franz and Hannes Reichelt. Travis Ganong, the World Championships downhill silver medalist, did not start due to a stomach illness and fever.
The World Cup seasons continue with a women’s slalom in Maribor on Sunday, expected to include Shiffrin but not Vonn, and a men’s super-G in Saalbach, with 2013 World champion Ted Ligety.
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Today I was winning on top but made a big mistake and couldn't save it and hit the fences instead. Dang those fences felt like I hit a brick wall! Going to be sore for a while… back and shin are banged up, but will let you know how I feel in a few days. Guess I need a bit more training in GS but it's on the right track at least. #lookatthepositives #dontcrashlikeme #oops #briko