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Lindsey Vonn puts off retirement, 'hopeful' to ski again despite knees

By
Connor Grott
Lindsey Vonn of the United States has endured knee pain lately, which almost forced her retirement this week. Photo by Matthew Healey/UPI
Lindsey Vonn of the United States has endured knee pain lately, which almost forced her retirement this week. Photo by Matthew Healey/UPI | License Photo

Jan. 23 (UPI) -- American skier Lindsey Vonn hinted at retirement earlier this week, but reversed course after new discoveries about her knee problems.

The most accomplished female skier in World Cup history announced Wednesday that she remains "hopeful" she can fix her knee problems and race once more.

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"I remain hopeful that we can fix it. I'm taking things day by day and we will see what happens," Vonn wrote on Instagram. "I know that I might not get the ending to my career that I had hoped for, but if there is a chance, I will take it. Thanks for all of the support you have shown me, it helps keep me going."

Vonn's announcement came three days after teasing retirement. She failed to finish a super-G in Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy, citing excruciating pain in her knees.

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Vonn said the pain she endured at Cortina "was due to an impact injury to my peroneal nerve."

"This most likely came from the final jump on the first training run in Cortina, but it's hard to know for sure," Vonn continued. "After that training run, the pain got progressively worse each day and by Sunday my lower leg was in a lot of pain and my muscles had completely shut down."

View this post on Instagram

After a lot of physical therapy and time to clearly think things through, we have come to some conclusions about my knee. First, we discovered the reason I had so much pain and muscle shut down in Cortina was due to an impact injury to my peroneal nerve. This most likely came from the final jump on the first training run in Cortina, but it’s hard to know for sure. After that training run, the pain got progressively worse each day and by Sunday my lower leg was in a lot of pain and my muscles had completely shut down. Now that we know the problem the next issue is fixing it. So far we haven’t found a solution and as a result I will not be able to compete in tomorrow’s downhill training run. However, since this is a new “injury” per say, I remain hopeful that we can fix it. I’m taking things day by day and we will see what happens. I know that I might not get the ending to my career that I had hoped for, but if there is a chance, I will take it. Thanks for all of the support you have shown me, it helps keep me going. ❤️🙏🏻

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

Vonn has 82 career victories, the most among women. She is approaching the overall record-holder Ingemark Stenmark of Sweden, who has four more wins.

Vonn hopes to continue her career, and said the next step involves finding a fix for the issue.

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"Now that we know the problem the next issue is fixing it," she said. "So far we haven't found a solution and as a result I will not be able to compete in tomorrow's downhill training run."

Downhill training in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, takes place on Thursday and Friday, followed by downhill and super-G races this weekend.

After the event in Garmisch, Vonn's next competition remains the world championships in Are, Sweden, which will be held Feb. 5.

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