Lindsey Vonn will skip the World Cup races next week in Beaver Creek, Colo., as she recovers from a downhill training crash in which she partially tore one of the reconstructed ligaments in her surgically repaired right knee.
The reigning Olympic downhill champion will continue to go through therapy on her knee and is not ruling out a possible return to racing in Lake Louise, Alberta, the following week, her personal publicist, Lewis Kay, said in a statement Friday.
The Sochi Games are less than three months away and it’s unclear whether Vonn’s crash earlier this week will affect her Olympic aspirations. The four-time overall World Cup champion fell during a training run at Copper Mountain, hurting the same knee she injured in a high-speed crash at the world championships in February. She also suffered minor facial abrasions and a bruised shoulder blade, which are on the mend.
On her Facebook page Friday afternoon, Vonn wrote: ”Thank you all so much for your support and well wishes. It has been a very difficult few days and your positive messages have helped tremendously. Rehab is going well and I am working as hard as I can to race in Lake Louise in a few weeks. Thank you again, I’m proud to have the best fans in the world! Love, Lindsey.”
She then added, ”PS: don’t worry guys, this is only a temporary setback. Nothing will keep me from picking myself back up and continuing to fight for my dreams.”
Her surgeon, Dr. Bill Sterett, said that Vonn is ”progressing well while not losing any of the strength she worked so hard to achieve.”
Vonn, who lives in Vail, was looking forward to making her season debut in Beaver Creek on a new women’s course set up ahead of the 2015 world championships. Vonn knows Lake Louise quite well, though, and has been so successful there – winning 14 times – that it’s become known as ”Lake Lindsey.”
After Lake Louise, the World Cup women’s circuit swings back to Europe for super-G and giant slalom races in St. Moritz, Switzerland, on Dec. 14-15. Then, it’s off to Courchevel, France, for a slalom event on Dec. 17.
Vonn remains three wins away from matching Austrian great Annemarie Moser-Proell’s record of 62 World Cup race victories.