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Lindsey Vonn: This will be my final season, record or not

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NEW YORK — Lindsey Vonn said Thursday that the 2018-19 season will definitely be her final one as a ski racer, even if she does not break Ingemar Stenmark‘s World Cup wins record.

Vonn has 82 victories, four shy of Stenmark’s record.

“If I get it [the record], that would be a dream come true,” Vonn said before a speaking event for Chase Ink in Manhattan. “If I don’t, I think I’ve had an incredibly successful career no matter what. I’m still the all-time winningest female skier.”

Vonn thought this spring and summer about continuing on to 2019-20 if she doesn’t reach the record this season. In the end, her lengthy injury history made the decision for her.

“Physically, I’ve gotten to the point where it doesn’t make sense,” Vonn said. “I really would like to be active when I’m older, so I have to look to the future and not just be so focused on what’s in front of me.”

Vonn repeated in PyeongChang that she planned to retire after the 2018-19 season, but at that time it was contingent on breaking the record.

“I’m not going to quit until I get that record, that is for sure, no matter how much pain I’m in,” Vonn said after her last Olympic race, “but I really hope it only takes one more season because it would be difficult for me to continue on after that.”

Olympic downhill champion Sofia Goggia hopes Vonn does not retire after next season. The Italian tried to persuade Vonn in PyeongChang.

“If I physically could continue for four years, then I probably would,” Vonn said she told Goggia in February. “But four years is a really long time. She said she’s going to keep trying to convince me, but we’ll see.”

When healthy (an important two words for Vonn), she has averaged about seven wins per season in recent years.

Vonn said she plans to race every downhill and super-G until she breaks the record, and probably through the end of the season in March, but no giant slaloms or slaloms.

Her first races are the first weekend of December at her favorite course, Lake Louise in Alberta, where a perfect weekend of three wins would draw her within one of Stenmark.

Vonn will leave the sport without achieving another goal — racing against men on the World Cup.

However, she said Thursday she could still do an exhibition event. Perhaps a head-to-head format.

In the spring, Vonn tabled her proposal to the International Ski Federation (FIS) to be allowed into a men’s race this fall but tweeted, “I haven’t given up on this. Just delaying it one more year.” FIS has denied her bid in the past.

Vonn hopes her next career is more successful than ski racing. Lofty goal.

She took a business class with other professional athletes at Harvard in May, noting then she had not attended college.

Chase, too, is helping her with the transition.

“I’m at an interesting point in my career where I want to pivot into business,” Vonn said, adding she wants to expand her Lindsey Vonn Foundation, which has aided young female ski racers. “It’s important to me to have people around me that know what they’re doing. I honestly don’t know the first thing about starting a business. I just know what I’m passionate about. I’m really passionate about beauty and outerwear.”

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VIDEO: Vonn, Gus Kenworthy battle on ‘Drop the Mic’

Lindsey Vonn, Ronda Rousey among athletes featured on Shark Week

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Olympic medalists Lindsey Vonn and Ronda Rousey headline an athlete roster appearing on Discovery Channel’s Shark Week in two months.

They follow Michael Phelps‘ much talked about Shark Week shows last year.

Vonn will appear on a show called “Monster Tag.” Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers and New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski are also included.

They “will join forces with top shark scientists to learn crucial information about the ocean’s top predators,” according to Discovery Channel.

Rousey, a 2008 Olympic judo bronze medalist, will dive with a mako shark in “Uncaged: Shark vs. Ronda Rousey.” The title is similar to “Phelps vs. Shark: Great Gold vs. Great White” from last year.

“First, Rousey, in a cage, dives into the ring with several lightweight shark species in the waters off Fiji and then moves onto the main event in New Zealand where she’ll ‘free dive uncaged’ with the heavyweight mako shark,” according to Discovery Channel.

More on Shark Week from Discovery Channel is here.

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MORE: Vonn’s proposal to race men tabled

Lindsey Vonn’s proposal to race men tabled

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Lindsey Vonn pulled back her proposal to enter a men’s World Cup race in November, instead keeping her focus on training to break the World Cup career wins record in what may be her final season.

“I haven’t given up on this,” was tweeted from Vonn’s account. “Just delaying it one more year.”

Vonn’s proposal, which had been in the works since last summer, was not on the agenda at this week’s International Ski Federation (FIS) meetings. FIS had been expected to rule on a Vonn proposal this week.

“As no renewed proposal was brought up regarding Lindsey Vonn’s request to race with the men in Lake Louise, this topic was indefinitely tabled,” FIS said in a press release.

That’s because Vonn is putting all her energy into breaking legendary Swede Ingemar Stenmark‘s record of 86 World Cup wins next winter, new U.S. Alpine director Jesse Hunt said, according to the Austria Press Agency and confirmed by U.S. SKi & Snowboard.

The 33-year-old Vonn earned five victories last season to move within four of the mark despite struggling with more knee and back injuries.

“My knee gets a break, and that’s really what matters,” Vonn said after finishing last season in March. “As you progress through the season, I definitely lose strength because I’m just not able to lift as much as I need to keep the knee supported.”

If Vonn sought and was granted a spot in a Lake Louise men’s race in November, FIS rules could have barred her from the women’s World Cup races in Lake Louise the following weekend because of her extra runs at the venue giving her an advantage over female skiers.

Missing three women’s races at Lake Louise, where Vonn owns 18 wins in 44 starts, would significantly impact her pursuit of Stenmark’s record.

Now that no longer appears to be an issue. With a single victory next season, Vonn will break Austrian Elisabeth Goergl‘s record as the oldest woman to win a World Cup race.

“I’m in a good place, picking up steam, confident and relatively healthy,” Vonn said in March. “I hope to (break Stenmark’s record) before my knee gives out.”

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MORE: Lindsey Vonn’s Olympic legacy