Vonn broke her leg at the world championships in Schlamding, Austria, earlier this month, tearing her ACL and MCL and undergoing surgery to repair the damage.
But in an interview on Today, Vonn told Matt Lauer she planned to turn her disappointment into a comeback for the upcoming Winter Olympics.
“I didn’t think it was going to be the end of my career," Vonn said. “I feel like I have a lot more left to do. I have plenty of time to be ready for Sochi."
With just under a year left before the 2014 games begin, Vonn knows she's racing against the clock for her place in the history books. She's already the most successful American skier ever, but is determined to defend her gold medal in downhill, after becoming the first American woman every to win one, at the Vancouver Olympics in 2010.
Vonn, who expressed frustration that officials refused to cancel the Schlamding race despite dangerous conditions, said loose snow caused her to fly too far off a jump. Her ski caught on a bad landing, bringing her to a jolting halt from 70 or 80 miles an hour.
“I just went off the jump, flew too far, and landed in a pile of snow that hadn’t been cleared away,’’ she said. “It essentially stopped my feet on impact, and my knee just completely buckled.’’