Lindsey Vonn left it all out on the slopes at the 2019 World Championships on Tuesday, February 5, suffering a painful crash in the final super-G of her professional skiing career.
The 34-year-old snagged her boots on a gate during the event in Are, Sweden, and slid down the slope face-first. After medics rushed to her aid, she was able to get to the bottom on her own.
“I’ve got a bit of a shiner,” she told reporters afterward, per the Associated Press. “I feel like I’ve been hit by an 18-wheeler, but other than that I’m great. My knees are the same as they were before the race. I think my neck’s going to be sore. I got the wind knocked out of me, my ribs are oddly sore. It’ll be fine.”
Vonn later referenced the crash on Twitter, writing, “If adversity makes you stronger, I think I’m the Hulk at this point.”
The Olympic gold medalist had to accelerate her retirement plans because of the wear and tear on her knees. She announced on Friday, February 1, that this year’s world championships would be the end of her professional skiing career.
“I’m screwed. I’ve known that for three years now,” she said. “It’s only a matter of time. The analogy I was given was, I only have a certain amount of steps left. And I’ve run out of steps at this point. I know I’ll have pain for the rest of my life, but I wouldn’t change it. She added, “I got no cartilage, no meniscus, I got rods and plates and screws. There’s a lot going on. My head is still good, that’s all I need.”
Vonn, the all-time leader in women’s World Cup wins, has one last shot at glory with a downhill race on Sunday, February 10. “Don’t count me out,” she said on Tuesday. “I’ve got one more chance. Maybe I’ll pull off a miracle, maybe I won’t. … I’m going to try my hardest. Just because I get knocked down, it doesn’t mean I don’t get back up.”
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