Skiing: Reigning Olympic champ Vonn hurt in training crash
DENVER, Colorado – Reigning Olympic downhill champion and four-time overall World Cup champion Lindsey Vonn was injured Tuesday in a crash during a downhill training run at Copper Mountain.
Vonn had spent the past few months rehabilitating her surgically repaired right knee in anticipation of a return to competition next week at Beaver Creek at a World Cup event on US snow as she prepared to defend her Olympic crown in February at Sochi.
Vonn was taken by sled off the Colorado Rocky Mountain slope and went to nearby Vail to be examined by orthopedic surgeon Bill Sterett, who performed the ligament repairs on Vonn last February, according to an e-mail to the Denver Post by Lewis Kay, Vonn’s publicist.
“She was not admitted to the hospital and is currently being evaluated by Dr. Sterett back in Vail,” Kay told the newspaper.
“We expect to have clarity on the situation in the next 24 hours. We will provide updates when we know more and appreciate your patience.”
While there was no official confirmation that Vonn had injured her right knee, US teen skier Maris Van Slyke posted photographs on Twitter of Vonn being helped off the bottom of the course by coaches and said Vonn was not putting any weight on her right leg.
Any serious injury would be a major setback to Vonn’s golden repeat dream but re-injuring her right knee, which was hurt last February when she crashed at the world championships in Austria, might be the end of her Sochi bid.
Next week’s World Cup event at Beaver Creek includes downhill training on November 26-28 and the season’s first women’s downhill race on November 29.
Vonn is dating 14-time major golf champion Tiger Woods. The couple attended a key American football game at Denver on Sunday between the host Broncos and previously unbeaten Kansas City, with Vonn tweeting a photo from the sideline.
Vonn, 29, skipped the giant slalom season opener in Austria for more time to train and has said her main focus this season was the Olympics and that her knee was 100 percent healthy with no pain or swelling.
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