Olympic downhill champion Lindsey Vonn crashed while preparing to return to racing, nine months after undergoing surgery to repair knee ligaments and a leg fracture.
Vonn was doing downhill training yesterday at the U.S. Ski Team’s Speed Center at Copper Mountain, Colorado, when she fell, U.S. Ski Team spokesman Tom Kelly said in an e-mail last night.
The 29-year-old American, who won gold at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, wasn’t admitted to a hospital and is in Vail to be evaluated by William Sterett, the doctor who performed her knee surgery, Lewis Kay, a spokesman for Vonn, said in an e-mailed statement last night.
“We expect to have clarity on the situation in the next 24 hours,” Kay said.
Vonn, who was hospitalized with intestinal pain last November, said in a Bloomberg Television interview Nov. 12 that she was “100 percent” and planned to return to the World Cup tour for a Nov. 29 race in Beaver Creek, Colorado. The Olympics begin Feb. 7 in Sochi, Russia.
Four-time overall World Cup champion Vonn, who has won six straight downhill season titles, tore the anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments in her right knee and fractured a bone just below the knee joint in a February crash during a super giant slalom race at the world championships in Schladming, Austria.
Vonn, who has been dating world No. 1 golfer Tiger Woods, needs four World Cup race wins to pass the record tally of 62 held by Annemarie Moser-Proell of Austria.
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