Skip to content

Lindsey Vonn will miss Sochi Olympics

Jan 7, 2014, 8:31 AM EDT

Lindsey Vonn will miss the Sochi Olympics, saying her surgically repaired right knee could not get strong enough in time for the Winter Games in February.

Vonn, the 2010 Olympic downhill champion, released a statement Tuesday in an email from her publicist and on social media.

Vonn blew out her right knee at the World Championships last February. She returned to skiing on snow in late August and partially retore her right ACL in November.

She returned to competitive skiing in December but skied out of a race in Val d’Isere, France, on Dec. 21. She said her knee “completely gave out.”

On Dec. 21, Vonn said she thought her next race would be “sometime in January” and had not commented since.

“I’m at risk of doing more damage to my knee and my meniscus,” she said in Val d’Isere. “So I’m going to play it safe and race really minimal races. Probably one or two before the Olympics.”

Vonn makes Forbes’ 30 Under 30; Olympic legends snubbed

U.S. Ski Team coaches offered more pessimistic comments Sunday.

“Her knee is very swollen, and it’s impossible for her to consider skiing for now,” U.S. Ski Team coach Alex Hoedlmoser said, according to Reuters.

“To race without a ligament is extremely risky and can have serious consequences,” U.S. Ski Team coach Patrick Riml added. ”If she was a young athlete, we would have stopped her already.”

Vonn’s injury history

Vonn, a three-time Olympian, will be 33 years old come the 2018 Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. She has goals outside the Olympics to accomplish before then.

She has 59 career World Cup wins. She is second all-time among women behind Austrian Annemarie Moser-Proell, who had 62, and has long been thought to eventually break it, even with her major knee injuries.

The long-term goal is the men’s record held by Swedish legend Ingemar Stenmark, who won 86 races.

“I’ve already been thinking about that [men’s record],” she said, according to Red Bulletin. “My current plan is to keep going until the 2015 World Cup. Then I’ll see how far away I am from that number and then I’ll decide what to do, whether I’ll keep going in every discipline or maybe just downhill and super-G and concentrate on that record.”

Vonn’s absence from Sochi shifts more of the skiing spotlight to Americans Mikaela ShiffrinTed Ligety and Bode Miller.

Shiffrin, 18, is a gold-medal favorite in the Olympic slalom and a contender in the giant slalom.

Ligety, a 2006 Olympic champion, won three gold medals at the 2013 World Championships and could win gold in the giant slalom in Sochi.

Miller, 36, eyes his fifth Olympics. He’s the most decorated U.S. Olympic skier with five medals and coming off 2012 knee surgery that caused him to miss the entire 2012-13 season.

Kerrigan, Harding back in spotlight on attack anniversary

Latest Posts
  1. Carlin Isles talks about emotional start to rugby career (video)

    Sep 4, 2015, 5:25 PM EDT

    Carlin Isles Getty Images

    The U.S. will play Australia live on NBCSN and Live Extra on Saturday.

  2. U.S. Olympic men’s soccer coach talks over-age players

    Sep 4, 2015, 3:53 PM EDT

    Andi Herzog Getty Images

    If the U.S. qualifies for Rio, it can name three men to the roster over age 23.

  3. Hayward Field may soon be upgraded (rendering photo)

    Sep 4, 2015, 2:49 PM EDT

    Hayward Field

    The upgrade would happen after the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials.

  4. Olympian attaches GoPro to javelin (video)

    Sep 4, 2015, 1:24 PM EDT

    GoPro Javelin

    First, a pole vaulter. Now, a javelin thrower.

  5. IOC pledges $2 million fund to help refugees

    Sep 4, 2015, 1:06 PM EDT

    Olympic flag

    The IOC called it an “emergency” fund.

  6. Aries Merritt home after successful kidney transplant (photos)

    Sep 4, 2015, 7:57 AM EDT

    Aries Merritt AP

    Merritt left the hospital less than a week after winning a bronze medal in Beijing.

  7. Andre De Grasse stays in school

    Sep 3, 2015, 4:46 PM EDT

    Andre De Grasse AP

    Canadian sprint sensation plans to compete collegiately in 2015-16.

  8. Mixed results for World champions in Zurich

    Sep 3, 2015, 3:49 PM EDT

    Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce AP

    Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, David Rudisha and Wayde van Niekerk were among the Beijing stars in Diamond League action.

  9. Check out the Rio Olympic mountain bike course (video)

    Sep 3, 2015, 12:08 PM EDT

    Rio Olympic mountain bike course

    The course designer attached a camera to his helmet and traversed the dirt, rocks, going over a bridge and through a tunnel.

  10. U.S. shooters begin earning Olympic berths

    Sep 3, 2015, 11:38 AM EDT

    Michael McPhail Getty Images

    The 2016 U.S. Olympic team is now at eight athletes across all sports.

  11. Jeremy Abbott to sit out figure skating season

    Sep 2, 2015, 4:02 PM EDT

    Jeremy Abbott AP

    The four-time U.S. champion isn’t retiring yet.

  12. Los Angeles’ ties to the Olympics

    Sep 2, 2015, 3:37 PM EDT

    AP AP

    Some of the names most associated with Los Angeles professional sports teams are Olympians.

  13. Five events to watch at Zurich Diamond League

    Sep 2, 2015, 11:27 AM EDT

    Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Tori Bowie Getty Images

    One event includes 2015 World champions from three different events.

  14. Mesut Özil open to Rio Olympics, but German coach dismisses

    Sep 2, 2015, 10:00 AM EDT

    Mesut Ozil Getty Images

    “I can hardly imagine that it is possible given the schedule.”

  15. Los Angeles 2024 Olympic bid is official

    Sep 1, 2015, 5:11 PM EDT

    Los Angeles 2024 logo

    Budapest, Hamburg, Paris and Rome previously announced bids.

  16. Kerri Walsh Jennings done for season after this week

    Sep 1, 2015, 1:51 PM EDT

    Getty Images Getty Images

    Walsh Jennings and April Ross will have little to no wiggle room in Olympic qualifying next year.

  17. Can Venus Williams qualify for a fifth Olympics?

    Sep 1, 2015, 12:36 PM EDT

    Venus Williams AP

    She could become the second oldest Olympic singles player since the sport returned to the Games in 1988.

  18. Tokyo 2020 Olympic logo scrapped after plagiarism allegations

    Sep 1, 2015, 8:58 AM EDT

    Tokyo 2020 Olympic logo AP

    A competition will be held to pick a new logo.

  19. Top ten storylines from World Track and Field Championships

    Aug 31, 2015, 4:20 PM EDT

    Usain Bolt, Mo Farah AP

    Olympic champions came through and potential future Olympic stars broke out.