Lindsey Vonn
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Lindsey Vonn’s injury history

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Lindsey Vonn is certainly no stranger to crashes and injury.

Over the course of her career, the American has made frequent trips from the slope to the hospital with varying degrees of damage to her body.

Here is a brief synopsis of Vonn’s injury history:

2017-18 World Cup: Vonn jarred her back in a Dec. 9 super-G, calling the injury an acute facet (spinal joint) dysfunction. She gingerly walked with aid to congratulate the race winner, then skipped the following day’s race before returning to the World Cup circuit the following week.

2016-17 World Cup: On Nov. 10, Vonn suffers a severely fractured humerus bone in her right arm in a training crash in Copper Mountain, Colo. The injury requires surgery.

Vonn had hoped to make her season debut either two or three weeks later, but her latest setback puts her return into question as well as her pursuit of the career World Cup wins record. She’s at 76, needing 10 more to reach Ingemar Stenmark. Vonn won eight and nine races the last two seasons.

2015-16 World Cup: In New Zealand preseason training Aug. 13, Vonn crashed and fractured an ankle. She missed the World Cup opener Oct. 24 but returned for the following giant slalom Nov. 27.

On Feb. 27, Vonn crashed in a super-G in Andorra, was taken off the course in a sled and learned she suffered one hairline left knee fracture. She raced the next day, finishing 13th in a super combined.

Two days after that, Vonn underwent more scans that showed she suffered three, larger fractures rather than the one hairline, forcing her to end her season while leading the World Cup overall standings, eight races from a possible fifth World Cup overall title.

2013-14 World Cup: While preparing to come back from knee surgery at Beaver Creek, Vonn crashed during a training run at Copper Mountain, Colo. She was taken off the slope on a sled and underwent an MRI and said she sustained a mild strain and partial tear of the ACL in her right knee, minor facial abrasions and scapular contusions from her fall.

It turned out that she had a complete ACL tear, which she compounded with MCL and joint damage when she skied out of the downhill in Val d’Isere on Dec. 21. On Jan. 7, Vonn was forced to withdraw from the Sochi Olympics and didn’t return to World Cup action until December 2014.

2013 World Championships: In her opening race in Schladming, Austria, Vonn crashed hard during the super-G and needed to be airlifted off the mountain to a nearby hospital. Doctors diagnosed her with tears of the medial collateral and anterior cruciate ligaments in her right knee and a fractured tibial plateau, all of which resulted in season-ending surgery.

2011 World Championships: One week before the start of competition, Vonn crashed during giant slalom training in Kintereit, Austria. Although she walked away from the incident with no major injuries, she did suffer a concussion in the collision. After much debate, she decided to compete in Garmish-Partenkirchen where she finished second in the downhill and seventh in super-G.

2010 Olympics: Vonn came to the Vancouver Games banged up, having bruised her right shin during pre-Olympic workouts in Austria. Putting on a ski boot resulted in “excruciating” pain, but she competed through it and won gold in the downhill and bronze in the super-G. Vonn crashed during the giant slalom, breaking her right pinkie, and then crashed out of the slalom run of the super-combined competition.

2009-10 World Cup: Just weeks before the Olympics, Vonn suffered a violent crash during her first giant slalom run in Lienz, Austria. She was taken to the hospital where doctors diagnosed her with swelling and microfractures in her left forearm. She continued to ski after the injury.

2009 World Championships: In perhaps the most bizarre injury of Vonn’s career, she sliced open her right thumb on a broken champagne bottle while celebrating her victory in the downhill in Val d’Isere, France. The incident left her with a cut tendon, which required surgery, but did not prevent her from skiing the remainder of that season. She went on to earn nine World Cup podium finishes.

2007 World Championships: The technical events continued to cause Vonn trouble in Are, Sweden where she crashed in a slalom training run and suffered a season-ending ACL sprain. Fortunately for her, she won silver medals in the downhill and super-G prior to the crash.

2006 Olympics: Vonn’s second Olympic appearance did not get off to a good start as she crashed during a downhill training run and was airlifted by helicopter off the mountain in Torino. The incident left her with a bruised hip but did not knock her from the Games. Two days later, she finished eighth in the downhill.

VIDEO: Vonn meets Ingemar Stenmark

Nathan Chen calls 3 quads at Skate America ‘a given’

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When Nathan Chen won Skate America in 2017, he competed two quadruple jumps in the short program and one downgraded quad in the free skate.

When Chen won the event in 2018, he did one under-rotated quad (which was also given an edge call) in the short and three in the free.

For Skate America this weekend (Oct. 18-20, streaming live on the NBC Sports “Figure Skating Pass”), two-time and reigning world champion Chen told reporters on Monday’s media teleconference that three quads in the free skate was “a given.”

“Honestly, I don’t really know exactly,” Chen said, after admitting he gets asked this question a lot and usually ends up giving a “vague” answer. “I have ideas. I want to push three. I want to push four… As of now, I think three is a given. But beyond that, we’ll see.”

Chen completed six quads to win the free skate at the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics, where he ultimately finished fifth.

He’ll skate to La Boheme for the short program in Las Vegas, choreographed by Shae-Lynn Bourne, and selections from “Rocket Man” for the free skate, choreographed by Marie-France Dubreuil. Bourne is a former ice dancer and choreographs programs for many singles skaters as well as pair teams. Dubreuil is a noted former ice dancer and current dance coach, training the top teams in the world at her school in Montreal.

Chen explained that both of the choices were the choreographers’ picks, and he had to sit on the music for a day or two before committing to skating to it. Ultimately, he likes when choreographers are able to find something that they think suits him.

“I love to listen to Elton John,” Chen said. “I don’t necessarily feel as though I’m an embodiment of his character, per se. But I do feel that no matter how you listen to music there are always many ways to interpret it. The way that we’re approaching it is not necessarily that I’m trying to be Elton John but mostly that we’re trying to interpret his music and share his music.”

And compared to last season, when he was a freshman at Yale University, classes this time around are “a lot harder,” the sophomore said. In general though, he’s a lot more comfortable trying to balance both skating and his studies.

“Skating is always tough, always a challenge,” he said. “But I would say, relative to last season, skating might be a little bit on the easier side. I think classes are definitely a lot harder… You have to really grind for a long period of time or else you don’t do well.”

Luckily for Chen, Skate America is aligned with Yale’s scheduled fall break.

MORE: Figure skating season broadcast schedule

As a reminder, you can watch the events from the 2019-20 figure skating season live and on-demand with the ‘Figure Skating Pass’ on NBC Sports Gold. Check out a free trial of the Figure Skating Pass during Skate America from Oct. 18-20. Go to NBCsports.com/gold/figure-skating to sign up for access to every ISU Grand Prix and championship event, as well as domestic U.S. Figure Skating events throughout the season. NBC Sports Gold gives subscribers an unprecedented level of access on more platforms and devices than ever before.

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Simone Biles reveals one thing she cannot do: Wear all her medals at once

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Three days after raising the record for world championship medals to 25, Simone Biles said her career total is a bit too much to wear at once.

“I’ve worn all five of them (from one world championship) for one time, but they’re pretty heavy, so I can’t imagine 25,” Biles said Wednesday on the “Today” show.

MORE: Mother and daughter share world championship experience

Last week, Biles became the first gymnast to win five gold medals at the world championships. She and her teammates ran away with the team gold, and she won the all-around by a staggering 2.1 points. She then won the vault, balance beam and floor exercise. Only a fifth-place finish in the uneven bars kept her from a sweep.

One event that stood out for her was the ever-challenging balance beam.

“Out of all of my performances this past week, the beam performance was one of my favorites, because I did it exactly like practice, and that’s what I’ve been training to do,” Biles said. “So it definitely helped my confidence.”

GYM WORLDS: Finals Results

Biles had her breakout performance at age 18, her first year in senior competition, in the 2013 world championships with a four-medal performance, including gold in the all-around and floor exercise. In 2014, she won those events again, along with the team event and the balance beam, and added a fifth medal on the vault. She matched that performance in 2015, then switched the vault and beam in her four-gold, five-medal performance in the 2016 Olympics.

After a post-Olympic break, she returned for the 2018 world championships to win medals in all six events, including four golds and a silver on the uneven bars, historically her least successful event.

She didn’t win six medals this year, but she took five golds for the first time. This year’s championships are also special because they’re almost certainly her last, with next year’s Olympics expected to be her last major competition.

Given all that, she’ll make more of an effort to go back and watch what she did.

“Most of the time I don’t want to see it, but this world championships was one of the best out of all five of them, so I definitely wanted to see my performances, so afterward, I would go and try to find it with my coach,” Biles said.

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