Lindsey Vonn to miss Sochi Olympics
PARK CITY, Utah — Injured Olympic champion Lindsey Vonn announced Tuesday that she will not participate in the upcoming Sochi Olympics.
Vonn, who had staged a comeback in December with an impressive fifth-place finish in the opening Alpine World Cup super G in Lake Louise, felt that a subsequent racing injury in Val d’Isere, France, from Dec. 21 made it impossible to stabilize her knee and be ready to safely ski again next month.
“I am devastated to announce that I will not be able to compete in Sochi,” Vonn said. “I did everything I possibly could to somehow get strong enough to overcome having no ACL, but the reality has sunk in that my knee is just too unstable to compete at this level.”
Vonn will undergo surgery shortly so that she has sufficient time for recovery with a focus on the February, 2015, FIS Alpine World Ski Championships at her home in Vail/Beaver Creek, Colo., as well as the World Cup season.
“On a positive note, this means there will be an additional spot so that one of my teammates can go for gold,” Vonn said. “Thank you all so much for all of the love and support. I will be cheering for all of the Olympians and especially team USA.”
Vonn returned to the snow on Aug. 31 during a U.S. Ski Team training camp in Portillo, Chile, then re-aggravated the same knee during a downhill training crash on Nov. 19. She had a successful showing in Lake Louise from Dec. 6-8 before injuring the knee again later in the month.
“While Lindsey won’t be in Sochi, we have a strong team that is well prepared to challenge,” said Bill Marolt, president and CEO of the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association. “The women’s speed team is experienced with five athletes who have achieved World Cup podiums and a seasoned veteran in Julia Mancuso (Squaw Valley), who has won three Olympic medals in her career. Now is the time for those athletes to step up towards our ‘best in the world’ vision.”
Vonn is the most successful female alpine skier in American history with 17 World Cup titles, including a record six consecutive downhill titles and four overall crowns. She has 59 World Cup victories, currently three short of tying the women’s all-time record of 62 held by Austrian Annemarie Moser-Proell.
Shiffrin wins career sixth slalom
BORMIO, Italy — Teen Mikaela Shiffrin sliced through sloppy snow and rain Sunday to win the Bormio slalom for her third straight Audi FIS Alpine World Cup top-three finish.
It was the sixth World Cup slalom victory of her young career and comes just 33 days before the start of the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia.
“It’s always good to keep success going,” Shiffrin said. “I’m used to skiing in this kind of conditions because in the East Coast it’s like this a lot. I just kind of get tough and go.”
Leading by a slim .03 after the first run, Shiffrin powered through the rutted snow to hold off a hard-charging Marie Pietilae-Holmner of Sweden by .13 and bump her World Cup slalom points lead to 62 points over Austrian Marlies Schild, who finished sixth.
Shiffrin has now captured 13 World Cup podiums, making her the youngest alpine skier in U.S. history to do so. Her sixth win also moves her to second on the slalom all-time list among American women, trailing only Squaw Valley’s Tamara McKinney, who has nine.
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