Lindsey Vonn, one of the U.S. Team’s best chances for Olympic skiing gold in Vancouver, took a hard fall and injured her left arm on Monday during the opening run of the World Cup giant slalom in Lienz, Austria. Vonn was down for nearly 10 minutes while a First Aid crew attended to her, and she initially thought her arm was broken.
This isn’t Vonn’s first injury in the midst of competition. The winner of the overall World Cup the past two seasons sliced her thumb open and cut a tendon on a broken champagne bottle during last season’s world championships, and ended up having to ski with her pole taped to her glove.
Displaying physical and mental toughness, Vonn skied down after the crash with her arm in a sling and painful grimace on her face. Fortunately for Vonn and the U.S. Team an X-Ray and MRI exam revealed a painful bone bruise but no break. Vonn skied through the pain on Tuesday despite her injuries, and finished 18th in the slalom race while wearing a brace. She will have a few days to recover before the next World Cup slalom event in Zagreb, Croatia on Sunday.
All indications are that the injury won’t keep Vonn from chasing another World Cup title, or competing for a spot on the 2010 U.S. Olympic Ski Team.