Lindsey Vonn Finishes 40th in First Ski Competition in 10 Months

Lindsey Vonn was “ecstatic” to make her first competitive ski run since February in a World Cup downhill in Canada, two weeks after re-injuring her surgically repaired right knee during a Colorado training run.

Vonn, the 2010 Olympic downhill champion from the U.S., finished 40th among the 58 competitors who finished yesterday’s race at Lake Louise, Alberta, which was delayed an hour at the start by fog and frigid temperatures.

Vonn completed her run in one minute, 59.22 seconds, 3.19 seconds slower than winner Maria Hoefl-Riesch of Germany, who finished seven-tenths of a second ahead of Switzerland’s Marianne Kaufmann-Abderhalden. Elena Fanchini of Italy was third, 1.2 seconds behind the leader. Another downhill is scheduled for today.

“Despite my result, I’m ecstatic to be racing again and can’t wait for another race tomorrow!” Vonn wrote yesterday on her Facebook page. “Well, I guess I’m a little rusty. I was more nervous than normal and I didn’t ski with confidence.”

Vonn is working to be ready to defend her Olympic title at the Winter Games, which begin in Sochi, Russia, on Feb. 7.

Vonn, 29, sustained a partial tear to the anterior cruciate ligament, a mild strain to the knee, minor facial scrapes and shoulder bruises in a Nov. 19 fall at the U.S. Ski Team’s Speed Center at Copper Mountain, Colorado. The crash came after she 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 in February.

A four-time World Cup overall champion, Vonn needs four World Cup race wins to pass the record of 62 held by Annemarie Moser-Proell of Austria. She has won six straight downhill season titles.

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