Lindsey Vonn Skips World Cup Skiing Season Opener to Return Home

Oct. 24 (Bloomberg) -- Reigning Olympic women’s downhill skiing champion Lindsey Vonn will skip the season-opening World Cup race this weekend in Soelden, Austria, as she continues to recover from February knee surgery.

Vonn, who turned 29 six days ago, said she plans to return to the World Cup tour in late November in Beaver Creek, Colorado.

“While I physically feel great, I have decided to not race this weekend and instead will focus on returning in Beaver Creek,” Vonn said in a statement posted last night on the U.S. Ski Team’s website. “I am confident the extra month of training will ultimately put me in the best position to have a successful season.”

Vonn, an American who is a four-time overall World Cup champion and has won six straight downhill season titles, had surgery to repair two knee ligaments and a fractured bone in her right leg after a Feb. 5 crash at the World Ski Championships in Schladming, Austria.

Vonn worked with her U.S. teammates in Europe this week before deciding to return home to continue training.

The Soelden giant slalom on Oct. 26 is the opening women’s race on this year’s World Cup tour, and will be followed by a Nov. 16 slalom in Levi, Finland. The tour then moves to North America for races Nov. 29 in Beaver Creek and Dec. 6 in Lake Louise, Canada.

To contact the reporter on this story: Rob Gloster in San Francisco at rgloster@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at msillup@bloomberg.net