Competing in the penultimate event of her career, American skiing legend Lindsey Vonn crashed out of the super-G at the world championships Tuesday in Are, Sweden, hurtling through a gate early in the course and careening sideways into a fence.
Vonn was back on her feet after being attended to by medical personnel. She skied down the course on her own to cheers from the crowd and received a hug from fellow American Mikaela Shiffrin at the bottom.
“I was charging. I wanted to lay it all on the line,” Vonn said in a television interview about 30 minutes after the crash. “I didn’t see the piece of terrain exactly how I should have and my skis hooked up and I went straight through the panel. I’ll have a nice shiner.”
Vonn said she’ll be fine and that he merely had “rung my bell a little bit. Just going to be really sore the next couple of days.” Later Tuesday, she tried to find humor in the situation on Twitter.
The course had been shortened because of strong winds.
Skiing immediately before Vonn, Shiffrin won her first world championship super-G medal with a time of 1:04.89, 0.02 of a second ahead of Italy’s Sofia Goggia. Earlier this season, Shiffrin became the only alpine skier — male or female — to win all six currently contested alpine disciplines.
“I was glad she was able to ski down, I was glad she looks okay,” Shiffrin said of Vonn in a television interview after both had raced, adding that her coaches and some of her equipment did not make it to the course because of bad weather in Sweden.
Vonn, who announced Friday that she would retire after the world championships because her “body was broken beyond repair,” won gold in the super-G at the 2009 world championships in France. She won silver in 2009, also in Are, and bronze in 2015 at Beaver Creek in Colorado. Her best Olympic super-G finish was a bronze at the 2010 Vancouver Games.
The final race of Vonn’s career, in the downhill, is Sunday. She has six career downhill medals in the Olympics and world championships, including Olympic gold in 2010 and a world championship in 2009.
Vonn is four victories short of Ingemar Stenmark’s record of 86 career World Cup wins. She will retire with the most World Cup wins in women’s skiing history by a wide margin.
“I’m too old to be crashing that hard,” Vonn said. “It’s just time to be done. It’s like my body is not doing what my mind is telling it to do anymore.”
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