Despite crashing out of the super-G at the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships, Lindsey Vonn is determined to enjoy her final race on Sunday.
Lindsey Vonn felt like she had been hit by an 18-wheeler after her crash at the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships but remained positive about her farewell race on Sunday.
American Vonn – who has won 20 World Cup titles, seven World Championship medals and finished on the podium at the Olympics three times – will bring the curtain down on her illustrious career when she takes part in the downhill in Are.
Vonn, who brought forward her plan to retire after next season’s race in Lake Louise, failed to finish her penultimate contest on Tuesday as she clipped a gate while airborne during her super-G run and slid on her front into the fence at the side of the course.
She was able to return to her feet and skied the remainder of the course to a warm ovation from spectators, while Mikaela Shiffrin claimed the gold medal.
Speaking at a news conference, Vonn said: “I’ve got a bit of a shiner and I feel like I’ve been hit by an 18-wheeler, but other than that, I feel great. My knees are the same as they were before, so that’s good.
“I think I’m just going to be sore. I got the wind knocked out of me, so my ribs are sore. But I’ll be fine. Sunday will be great.
“It happened really quickly. I had the right line coming in and that roll/jump had kind of a crown to it, it wasn’t exactly smooth, and I think one of my skis hooked up and sent me into the panel. I wasn’t expecting it.
“My immediate thought was: ‘What the hell? Why am I in the fence again?’ I’d like to swear, there’s a couple things I’d like to say but I’ll refrain from doing that. I was like: ‘Why am I here? I’m too old for this s***!'”
If adversity makes you stronger I think I’m the Hulk at this point….
— lindsey vonn (@lindseyvonn) February 5, 2019
Vonn will finish her career with 82 World Cup wins, just four shy of the all-time record held by Ingemar Stenmark, who will be in attendance on Sunday.
When Vonn was asked if it was wise for her to take to the slopes again with the chances of victory seemingly more remote than ever, she issued a defiant response.
“Who said I won’t win? I didn’t say that. I can still win. Don’t count me out. I’ve got one more chance. Maybe I’ll pull off a miracle, maybe I won’t, but I’m going to try my hardest. Just because I got knocked down doesn’t mean I can’t get back up. I still have one more chance,” she said.
“If you look back at my career this whole time it probably wasn’t healthy for me to be skiing, but I love what I do, that’s why I’m here. As much as I love winning, I love going fast even more. I love the thrill of competition. I love downhill because I love pushing myself, I love pushing the limits, I love the adrenaline.
“Downhill is not a healthy sport. People crash all the time, every day. [In] Garmisch, three people crashed [and are] out for the season. So If you want to be healthy then you should probably do another sport.
“I’ve pushed the limits as long as I can, I just can’t push the limits any more. It doesn’t mean it wasn’t worth the risk, I take that risk head on.”