Lindsey Vonn: 'I Might Not Get the Ending to My Career That I Had Hoped for' Amid Knee Problems
Lindsey Vonn is taking stock of her future on the competitive ski circuit amid continued issues with her knees.
During a super-G race in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy, over the weekend, Vonn failed to finish due to extreme pain in her knees. According to the Associated Press, Vonn did not place better than ninth in her three races.
In a statement earlier this week, U.S. Ski Team spokeswoman Megan Harrod told the AP that Vonn “is going to take the next couple/few days to think about how she will proceed and process everything, and then decide about how she will move forward based on that.”
Vonn had previously announced that she planned to retire at the end of the 2018-2019 season. Ahead of her October announcement, the athlete had said she wouldn’t retire until she broke the record of the most World Cup wins, currently held by Ingemar Stenmark with 86. Vonn currently has 82.
The Olympian has faced countless knee problems, most recently in November 2018 when she hyperextended her left knee and sprained a ligament, the AP reported.
Addressing her fans on Instagram, Wednesday, the 34-year-old wrote, “After a lot of physical therapy and time to clearly think things through, we have come to some conclusions about my knee.”
“First, we discovered the reason I had so much pain and muscle shut down in Cortina was due to an impact injury to my peroneal nerve,” she said. “This most likely came from the final jump on the first training run in Cortina, but it’s hard to know for sure. After that training run, the pain got progressively worse each day and by Sunday my lower leg was in a lot of pain and my muscles had completely shut down.”
“Now that we know the problem the next issue is fixing it,” Vonn explained. “So far we haven’t found a solution and as a result I will not be able to compete in tomorrow’s downhill training run. However, since this is a new ‘injury’ per say, I remain hopeful that we can fix it. I’m taking things day by day and we will see what happens.”
Concluded Vonn, “I know that I might not get the ending to my career that I had hoped for, but if there is a chance, I will take it. Thanks for all of the support you have shown me, it helps keep me going.”
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.”