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SportOpinion: Injuries be damned, Lindsey Vonn goes out on her terms - and on the podium

09:15  11 february  2019
09:15  11 february  2019 Source:   usatoday.com

Vonn baffled by Shiffrin's decision to skip combined

Vonn baffled by Shiffrin's decision to skip combined US ski star Lindsey Vonn admits to being baffled by Mikaela Shiffrin's decision to skip the combined, saying her younger teammate could easily have medalled in, if not won all five disciplines at the World Ski Championships. Shiffrin stormed to gold in Tuesday's super-G, a race in which Vonn crashed, leaving her with a black eye, sore neck and bruised ribs. The 23-year-old Shiffrin is the first and only athlete (male or female) with wins in all six World Cup disciplines of slalom, parallel slalom, giant slalom, super-G, downhill and alpine combined.

Shattered knees be damned , Lindsey Vonn left on her terms . Upright and on the podium . So many snapshots of Vonn ’s career are of her battered and broken, scary crashes that robbed her of the chance for even more Olympic medals and more World Cup victories. Even this week, a crash in the

Winner Lindsey Vonn from the USA celebrates during the podium ceremony of the FIS Alpine World Cup Women’s Downhill on Jan. Vonn said later she worried about whether she would be able to use her hand in a normal way ever again and Lindsey Vonn is the No. 1 on the all-time women’s list

Opinion: Injuries be damned, Lindsey Vonn goes out on her terms - and on the podium© Provided by USA Today Sports Media Group LLC

Shattered knees be damned, Lindsey Vonn left on her terms.

Upright and on the podium.

So many snapshots of Vonn’s career are of her battered and broken, scary crashes that robbed her of the chance for even more Olympic medals and more World Cup victories. Even this week, a crash in the Super-G left her with a black eye and a bruised rib.

Yet it will be this final image of Vonn that resonates: Hands raised in triumph, a smile spread wide across her face, another medal around her neck.

Forced to bring a sooner-than-expected end to her career, Vonn pushed aside the pain for one last, great run, winning the bronze medal in the downhill at the world championships Sunday.

With retirement near, Vonn crashes in super-G at worlds

With retirement near, Vonn crashes in super-G at worlds Lindsey Vonn has crashed in the super-G at the world championships. She straddled a gate mid-air and ended up in the safety nets. Vonn got up and skied down the hill after being tended to by medical personnel. "Everybody, cross your fingers or hold your thumbs. That didn't look like a nice crash," said American teammate Mikaela Shiffrin, who won the race. "She went really hard into the fence. Hopefully she is OK." Vonn, the all-time leader in women's World Cup wins, announced last week that she will retire after racing the super-G and downhill at the worlds.

Lindsey Caroline Vonn (née Kildow /kɪldaʊ/; born October 18, 1984) is a retired American former World Cup alpine ski racer on the US Ski Team.

Olympian Lindsey Vonn has been public in her criticism of President Donald Trump, and that’s led to a flurry of online criticism against Vonn that she’s spoken out about on Twitter. When Vonn didn’t make the podium on Saturday in South Korea, her critics pounced.

Injuries might have dictated the when of her retirement, but she decided the how.

“I’m going to put this next to the gold medals,” Vonn told NBC after the race in Are, Sweden. “This, to me, was, an incredible race. I fought with my heart the whole way down.”

And that, even more than the records, is what defines Vonn.

More columns:Read more commentary from columnist Nancy Armour

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She’ll be remembered as one of the greatest ski racers ever, male or female. Her 82 World Cup victories are second only to the 86 of Ingemar Stenmark, who was there to greet her in the finish area. She is an Olympic champion, having won gold in the downhill at the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver.

Her eight downhill titles are a record, and her four overall titles are most by an American.

Vonn wins bronze medal in the final race of her career

Vonn wins bronze medal in the final race of her career Lindsey Vonn won the bronze medal in the world championship downhill Sunday in the final race of her career. It's a medal that brings Vonn full circle: the American's two silvers at the 2007 worlds on the same course in Are were the first two major championship medals of her career. When Vonn crossed the finish line she had a big smile on her face, waved and bowed to the crowd. Vonn had been planning on retiring in December but she recently moved up her retirement plans due to persistent pain in both of her surgically repaired knees. She then crashed in Tuesday's super-G , coming away with a black eye and a bruised rib.

U.S. Ski Team member Lindsey Vonn puts on her boots inside Cooper Station in preparation for downhill training Over the first decade of her record-breaking World Cup career, Vail’s Lindsey Vonn avoided major injuries and was one of the few racers on the circuit who Vonn ’s Podium Pledge.

Vonn said later she worried about whether she would be able to use her hand in a normal way ever again and has called it the "hardest recovery of my Crashed on the first run of a World Cup giant slalom in Lienz, Austria, losing her balance after a sharp turn and falling backward. She wound up not

But it is Vonn’s grit and perseverance that made her iconic.

There is not a part of her body that’s been left unscathed, her catalog of injuries including concussions, nerve damage, broken bones in her arm, ankle and leg, and, of course, her shredded knees. Yet time and again, Vonn got back up, the strength of her determination and will unmatched.

Vonn had hoped to continue skiing through December so she could end her career at her beloved Lake Louise. But the 34-year-old announced earlier this month that a crash in November had left her with more torn knee ligaments.

“My body is broken beyond repair and it isn't letting me have the final season I dreamed of,” she wrote Feb. 1 on Instagram, announcing that the Super-G and downhill at the world championships would be her final races. “My body is screaming at me to STOP and it’s time for me to listen.”

Lindsey Vonn's rib 'pops out' in training run for final career race this Sunday

Lindsey Vonn's rib 'pops out' in training run for final career race this Sunday Lindsey Vonn is skiing in the final competition of her career following her retirement announcement last week. 

Vonn amped up her preparations for the Pyeongchang Games by winning a World Cup downhill by “So it made me really happy just to be out there on the mountain today.” It was Vonn ’s second win Lindsey Vonn of the United States celebrates on the podium with a man dressed as Santa Claus

Not all of the wounds Lindsey Vonn has suffered have come on the slopes. But she has learned Lindsey Vonn was Lindsey Kildow when she met U.S. Ski Team racer Thomas Vonn during The MMQB’s Jacob Feldman shares the NFL’s best stories and biggest news (plus an opinion or two)

After crashing in the Super-G, no one would have blamed Vonn had she made her start in the downhill a ceremonial one. Taken one last, leisurely glide down the mountain.

But Vonn has never done anything halfway, and she wasn’t about to start now.

“Guns ablaze,” Vonn said in an interview before the race. “All the way to the finish.”

True to her word, she recovered from a slow start and attacked the second half of the course. She flew across the finish line in first place, then waited to see if her time would hold up.

Slovenia’s Ilka Stuhec, the reigning world champion, pushed Vonn into second place. Switzerland’s Corinne Suter would bump her to third. But with the sun dipping behind clouds and casting shadows across the course, no one else would challenge her.

Vonn’s spot on the podium was secure. She had defied the ravages of her injuries one last time.

“It’s been an amazing career, and to end on this note ... means everything to me,” Vonn said.

“I’ve accepted where I am in my life,” she added. “I’m happy and I’m excited for the future. I’ve cried enough tears and now it’s just time to enjoy it.”

Opinion: Ski champ Mikaela Shiffrin's ferocity isn't always on display, but it's there

Opinion: Ski champ Mikaela Shiffrin's ferocity isn't always on display, but it's there Mikaela Shiffrin wins her record fourth consecutive title in slalom at the world championships despite a chest cold that left her gasping for breath.

She's targeting a historic season but Lindsey Vonn pulled out of a World Cup race in St. Moritz after injuring her back Saturday. By continuing to browse our site you agree to our use of cookies , revised Privacy Policy and Terms of Service . Lindsey Vonn exclusive on her final season.

Vonn was first out of the gate among the field after the start was delayed by an hour due to high This time the 33-year-old was largely clean on the top half but nearly wiped out on a wide turn near the With her extraordinary victory, the Czech landed on an alpine skiing podium for the first time in her

Lindsey Vonn might not have won every race in her career. But she never let herself be beaten, right up until the very end.

***

Follow USA TODAY Sports columnist Nancy Armour on Twitter @nrarmour.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Opinion: Injuries be damned, Lindsey Vonn goes out on her terms - and on the podium

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Wendy Holdener of Switzerland retained her Alpine combined title after beating Petra Vlhova by 0.03 seconds at the world championships. Holdener was in fifth place after the downhill leg. She lost time in the top section of the slalom and was tied with the Slovakian skier after the third checkpoint but she made up ground in the final stretch. Ragnhild Mowinckel of Norway was third, 0.45 seconds behind Holdener. ___ 3:30 p.m. Aksel Lund Svindal says the International Ski Federation missed a trick by not allowing Lindsey Vonn to compete against men during her career. The Norwegian skier says a "girl taking on the guys ...

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