Lindsey Vonn has decided to withdraw from the FIS Alpine Skiing World Cup with a knee injury curtailing her season.
Vonn sustained what was initially thought to be a hairline fracture to her left knee when she crashed in Soldeu-El Tarter on Saturday, but raced again the next day in Andorra.
However, further examinations have revealed greater damage was sustained, causing the American to pull out of the competition.
Vonn admitted the decision was hard to make having already won the downhill globe and leading the overall rankings with a 28-point advantage over Lara Gut.
"Today I am making the difficult decision to end my season and leave the World Cup circuit due to an injury I suffered last Saturday." she wrote in a post on social media. "Because I am currently leading the overall World Cup standings, this is one of the toughest decisions of my career.
"When I crashed on Saturday in Andorra, I fractured my tibial plateau. The traditional X-rays that were taken that afternoon showed a hairline fracture, but the tibial plateau appeared to be stable and did not pose significant risk to competing. So I raced on Sunday.
"After the super combined on Sunday, I went to Barcelona where more precise MRI and CT equipment was available and scans were performed on Tuesday morning. Those images showed that there was not just one hairline fracture, but in fact three.
"And the fractures are not hairline, but instead they are significant enough that they are not sufficiently stable to permit me to safely continue skiing.
"Further damage [to] any of the fragments could result in a serious surgery that would risk my future in ski racing. With the World Championships in St Moritz next year and the Winter Olympics in South Korea the following year, I cannot take that risk.
"So I have made the decision to end my season. I am very proud of what I have been able to accomplish this year: nine World Cup victories, breaking the World Cup downhill win record, breaking the World Cup super-G podium record, and winning the most World Cup discipline titles - 20 - of any skier, male or female.
"While I am confident that I'm making the right decision, it still doesn't make this decision any easier.
"Thanks to everyone who supported me and stood by me through it all. Best of luck to all the World Cup competitors. I'll see you again next year."