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Lindsey Vonn crashes at worlds; tears MCL, ACL

Feb 5, 2013, 9:42 AM EDT

FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images

Olympic gold medalist Lindsey Vonn will be out for the season after suffering a serious knee injury during a crash at the Alpine World Championships in Schladming, Austria Tuesday during the super-G.

Vonn lost her balance on a tough landing, lost her ski, and slid off course into a gate before finally coming to a stop. She was checked out by a doctor on the hill for more than ten minutes, and then airlifted to a Salzburg hospital for further evaluation.

U.S. team medical director Kyle Wilkens confirmed that Vonn tore her ACL and MCL and suffered a lateral tibial plateau fracture. She’ll require surgery and be out the rest of the season, but is expected to be back for the next World Cup season, and for the Sochi Olympics next February.

Vonn wrote in Monday’s Denver Post that the course had been closed to all skiers and coaches because of snow conditions, and that no one on her team had been able to evaluate the course as of Monday:

“We were here last year for the World Cup finals, so I feel like I know the hill pretty well, but it always feels a little awkward when you don’t get a chance to free ski the hill before you race. It’s tricky to know the terrain when all you have to go on is course inspection the morning of the race.”

The Vancouver gold medalist was trailing World Cup points leader Tina Maze of Slovenia, who won the event, by only 0.12 seconds before the crash. The race had been postponed for about three-and-a-half hours earlier in the day due to fog, and continued after a fifteen minute delay.

(NBC’s Alex Goldberger is in Austria for the event and contributed to this report.)

Here’s a video of the crash:

  1. sailbum7 - Feb 5, 2013 at 11:09 AM

    I hope she comes out of this OK. Sounds like her season is probably over, but hopefully the fracture will heal well and she can come back next season. Lindsey is a great skier and a good person off the slopes as well. She has done a lot for the sport and I look forward to seeing her back on the slopes competing. Get well soon.

  2. ctjpmarie - Feb 5, 2013 at 11:19 AM

    Crap! Heal well w/o pain…Good Luck. That bites.

  3. jammers11 - Feb 5, 2013 at 11:38 AM

    Well better to get hurt a year before the Olympics then a few weeks before,

  4. hjworton46 - Feb 5, 2013 at 11:53 AM

    Even when Maze is being supposedly sympathetic, her comments about LV taking ‘too direct a line’ sounded a little bitchy IMO.

  5. michiganhockey11 - Feb 5, 2013 at 2:26 PM

    Was that her voice that you could hear screaming in the background? Yikes.

    • mogogo1 - Feb 5, 2013 at 4:47 PM

      I’m hoping maybe it was just some fan. The other thing a bit strange about the video is how calm Vonn’s sister remained. I’d have expected the other ski racers to be more laid back and the sister to be the one making the faces, but it was the opposite.

    • tntriathlete - Feb 5, 2013 at 8:29 PM

      Yes that is Lindsey screaming, unfortunately.

  6. natalierosen - Feb 5, 2013 at 2:56 PM

    As one who has suffered fractures my heart went out to her. The body is amazing BUT it takes a long while. The bottom line is it’s always the laws of physics and the laws of nature that work their magic. Speed, combined with leaning too much one way adds up to something nasty. My heart goes out to her as I know how it feels to be standing one minute and down for the count the next. The way back is often very hard but she is young and will make it I’m sure!

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