Lindsey Vonn said she still plans to defend her Olympic downhill skiing gold medal after partially tearing a ligament in her surgically repaired right knee during a training run last week.
“I’ve been doing rehab and I’ve been progressing every day,” Vonn said during an interview this morning on NBC’s “Today” show. “I’m feeling good. I feel stable. I put some weight on it yesterday, and it felt really good, so I’m very hopeful. I still have time.”
Vonn, a 29-year-old American, sustained a partial tear to the anterior cruciate ligament, a mild strain to the knee, minor facial scrapes and shoulder bruises in a fall on Nov. 19 at the U.S. Ski Team’s Speed Center at Copper Mountain, Colorado.
Vonn said she expects to resume skiing this week and will attempt to compete in next week’s World Cup race at Lake Louise in Alberta, Canada.
“If things go well, I’ll be racing next week,” she said on NBC, a Comcast Corp. network that will broadcast the Winter Olympics in February. “If they don’t, then I’m going to have to reassess and kind of see where I stand and if I can make a comeback for this season. There definitely is a long ways to go there, but I’m confident that it’s going to be OK.”
Vonn, who won the gold medal in the women’s downhill at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Games, was planning to defend the title when the Winter Olympics begin in Sochi, Russia, in 76 days. A four-time World Cup overall champion who has won six straight downhill season titles, Vonn tore the anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments in her right knee and broke a bone just below the joint in a crash at the world championships last February .
Vonn, who has been dating the world’s top-ranked golfer, Tiger Woods, needs four World Cup race wins to pass the record of 62 held by Annemarie Moser-Proell of Austria.