Alpine skiing-Knee lets Vonn down again

Sat Dec 21, 2013 10:38am EST
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By Manuele Lang

VAL D'ISERE, France (Reuters) - Lindsey Vonn's injured knee let her down once again on Saturday, raising doubts about whether the downhill Olympic champion would be in a position to defend her title at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

The American four-times World Cup champion, watched for the first time in a World Cup race by boyfriend Tiger Woods, missed a gate in the middle section of French resort Val d'Isere's OK piste and later said her knee was to blame.

"I didn't hurt myself more than I'm already hurt," Vonn told reporters.

"Unfortunately I have no ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) and it gave out on me.

"It was a small compression, and it was fully loaded on the right ski and my knee just completely gave out. I tried to pressure the ski again and it gave out again. I had no chance of making that gate, unfortunately."

Vonn first tore ligaments in her right knee at the world championships in Schladming in February and she aggravated the injury in training at Copper Mountain, Colorado, last month.

Her initial return to competition in Lake Louise two weeks ago had been promising as she climbed from 40th in her first downhill to fifth in the Super-G held two days later.

Now the doubts are back for the second most successful female skier in history with 59 World Cup wins, three less than Austria's Anne-Marie Moser-Proell.   Continued...

Lindsey Vonn (front R) of the U.S. and her boyfriend, golfer Tiger Woods leave after the Women's World Cup Downhill skiing race in Val d'Isere, French Alps, December 21, 2013. REUTERS/Robert Pratta