Lindsey Vonn Crashes During Final Super-G Race of Competitive Skiing Career
Lindsey Vonn crashed during the final Super-G race of her professional career at the Alpine Skiing World Championships in Sweden on Tuesday, just days after announcing her imminent retirement from the sport.
According to the Associated Press, Vonn lost control while mid-air, skiing through a gate, with the panel getting stuck on her boots. The athlete, 34, was able to ski down the hill before being tended to by onsite medical personnel.
After the race, Vonn told reporters, “I wanted to lay it all out on the line and, I don’t know, the light went out right before I started and I didn’t have the right lenses on … I didn’t see the piece of terrain exactly the way I should have, my skies kind of hooked up and I went straight through the panel.”
She also tweeted about the crash, writing, “If adversity makes you stronger I think I’m the Hulk at this point….”
Vonn initially planned to retire at the end of the 2018-2019 season, but her extensive knee injuries forced her to push up her timeline.
In a lengthy Instagram post shared last week, the Olympian announced that following the conclusion of the world championships, she will retire from the sport competitively.
“It’s been an emotional 2 weeks making the hardest decision of my life, but I have accepted that I cannot continue ski racing,” Vonn wrote on Instagram. “I will compete at the World Championships in Downhill and SG next week in Åre, Sweden and they will be the final races of my career.”
“I have always pushed the limits of ski racing and it has allowed me to have amazing success but also dramatic crashes. I have never wanted the storyline of my career to be about injuries and because of that I decided not to tell anyone that I underwent surgery this past spring,” she added. “A large portion of cartilage that had delaminated from my bone was removed.”
Vonn went on to reveal that although she continued to compete despite her injuries, “despite extensive therapy” she is no longer able “to compete the way I know I can.”
The skier will compete in the women’s downhill race on Sunday.
Vonn had previously sworn she wouldn’t retire until she broke the record of the most World Cup wins, currently held by Ingemar Stenmark with 86.
Speaking to PEOPLE last fall, Vonn said she is proud of her impressive career — with or without the World Cup record.
“I have been saying the past few years that I’ll keep skiing until I break the record, but I’ve come to the realization that my career is not the sum of this record,” Vonn said.
She continued, “I’ve long surpassed the women’s World Cup record and I’ve done things in ski racing that no one’s ever done before, and I’m proud of that and what I’ve accomplished as a whole, and I don’t necessarily need this record to solidify anything or prove anything to myself or anybody else.”