Devastated Vonn out of Sochi Games with injury

Tue Jan 7, 2014 10:31am EST
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Larry Fine

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Olympic downhill champion Lindsey Vonn, one of the biggest attractions in winter sport, will miss next month's Sochi Games because she requires surgery on her injured knee.

The 29-year-old American broke the news on her Facebook page on Tuesday.

"I am devastated to announce I will not be able to compete in Sochi," said Vonn, the girlfriend of world number one golfer Tiger Woods.

"I did everything I possibly could to somehow get strong enough to overcome having no ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) but the reality has sunk in that my knee is just too unstable to compete at this level."

Vonn, a four-times overall World Cup champion and the standout name in women's Alpine skiing, badly injured her right knee in a world championship super-G in February.

She hurt her knee again while training for the season-opening World Cup downhill at Beaver Creek, Colorado but appeared to be back on track after racing at Lake Louise, Alberta.

Vonn then travelled with the U.S. team to Europe and, with Woods watching her for the first time at a World Cup race, injured her knee once more in Val d'Isere, France.

"It was Tiger's first time at a World Cup race and I was really hoping to win my 60th as a present for him," said Vonn who with 59 victories in the competition is three short of the women's record held by Austrian Annemarie Moser-Proell.   Continued...

Lindsey Vonn of the U.S. reacts as she leaves after the the Women's World Cup Downhill skiing race in Val d'Isere, French Alps, December 21, 2013. REUTERS/Robert Pratta