Vonn announces retirement from skiing

Lindsey Vonn, the most-successful female skier of all time, has announced she will retire after next week's FIS Alpine World Ski Championships.

Over her illustrious career Vonn has earned 82 World Cup wins, 20 World Cup titles, three Olympic medals and seven podium finishes at the World Championships.

But the past few years have seen her endure several brutal crashes that cost her most of the 2013 and 2014 seasons.

A knee injury sustained during a super-G training run in November delayed her start to the 2018-19 World Cup campaign and changed her initial retirement plans.

However, she struggled on her return and the pain of racing has brought her decision forward, meaning the downhill and super-G in Are next week will be her final races.

"It's been an emotional two weeks making the hardest decision of my life, but I have accepted that I cannot continue ski racing," Vonn – who will finish four short of equalling Ingemar Stenmark's record of 86 World Cup wins - posted on Instagram.

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

It’s been an emotional 2 weeks making the hardest decision of my life, but I have accepted that I cannot continue ski racing. I will compete at the World Championships in Downhill and SG next week in Åre, Sweden and they will be the final races of my career. I have always pushed the limits of ski racing and it has allowed me to have amazing success but also dramatic crashes. I have never wanted the storyline of my career to be about injuries and because of that I decided not to tell anyone that I underwent surgery this past spring. A large portion of cartilage that had delaminated from my bone was removed. My crash in Lake Louise last year was much more painful than I let on, but I continued to race because I wanted to win a medal in the Olympics for my late grandfather. Again, I rehabbed my way back this summer and I felt better than I had in a long time. Then I crashed in Copper this November and injured my left knee, tearing my LCL plus sustaining 3 fractures. Despite extensive therapy, training and a knee brace, I am not able make the turns necessary to compete the way I know I can. My body is broken beyond repair and it isn't letting me have the final season I dreamed of. My body is screaming at me to STOP and it’s time for me to listen. Honestly, retiring isn’t what upsets me. Retiring without reaching my goal is what will stay with me forever. However, I can look back at 82 World Cup wins, 20 World Cup titles, 3 Olympic medals, 7 World Championship medals and say that I have accomplished something that no other woman in HISTORY has ever done, and that is something that I will be proud of FOREVER! I always say, “Never give up!” So to all the the kids out there, to my fans who have sent me messages of encouragement to keep going… I need to tell you that I’m not giving up! I’m just starting a new chapter. Don’t lose faith in your dreams, keep fighting for what you love, and if you always give everything you have you’ll be happy no matter what the outcome. Thank you for the amazing years, for always supporting me, and for making my job so fun. Can’t wait to see some of you in the finish in Åre where I will give it my all one last time. Love always, Lindsey

A post shared by L I N D S E Y • V O N N (@lindseyvonn) on

"I have always pushed the limits of ski racing and it has allowed me to have amazing success but also dramatic crashes. I have never wanted the storyline of my career to be about injuries and because of that I decided not to tell anyone that I underwent surgery this past spring.

"A large portion of cartilage that had delaminated from my bone was removed. My crash in Lake Louise last year was much more painful than I let on, but I continued to race because I wanted to win a medal in the Olympics for my late grandfather.

"Again, I rehabbed my way back this summer and I felt better than I had in a long time. Then I crashed in Copper [Mountain] this November and injured my left knee, tearing my LCL plus sustaining three fractures. Despite extensive therapy, training and a knee brace, I am not able make the turns necessary to compete the way I know I can.

"My body is broken beyond repair and it isn't letting me have the final season I dreamed of. My body is screaming at me to STOP and it's time for me to listen."

In her retirement message, Vonn added that she is merely starting a "new chapter" in life.

She added: "I always say, 'Never give up!' So to all the kids out there, to my fans who have sent me messages of encouragement to keep going … I need to tell you that I'm not giving up!

"I'm just starting a new chapter. Don't lose faith in your dreams, keep fighting for what you love, and if you always give everything you have you'll be happy no matter what the outcome."

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