Olympic champion Lindsey Vonn, America's sweetheart of downhill ski racing, crashed during the super G competition at the FIS Alpine Ski World Championships in Schladming, Austria, on Tuesday and had to be evacuated to a hospital by helicopter.
According to U.S. Ski Team medical director Kyle Wilkens, Vonn sustained torn anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments and a lateral tibial plateau fracture in her right knee, and will need reconstructive surgery. The team announced Vonn would miss the remainder of this season but was expected to return to racing for the 2013-14 World Cup season, beginning in October, and the 2014 Winter Olympics, beginning Feb. 7.
Vonn is hoping to defend her Olympic gold medal in the downhill at Sochi, Russia, and with nearly a full year to recover from the impending surgery, maybe she'll get the chance. But despite U.S. Ski's expectations, it could be iffy. Recovery time for an ACL injury alone can take up to a full year. Hopefully, she recovers quickly and regains her strength and Olympic-level abilities in time.
Here's a look at the crash:
The New York Times described the crash:
After fog delayed the race for more than three hours, Vonn was leading in the top split of the race. She crashed after launching off a jump midway down the track. She was catapulted about 500 feet down the course and became unbalanced off the jump. When she landed, she caught an odd angle with her right leg, putting too much pressure on her outside ski and causing the crash.Racing resumed after Vonn was evacuated but racers reportedly struggled with conditions.
Vonn has won four overall World Cup championships, and is one of only two females to have done so. In 2010 in Vancouver, she became the first American woman to win a gold medal in downhill at the Winter Olympics. She had five straight downhill and four straight super G World Cup titles coming into this season.
The sight of Vonn being airlifted to the hospital (below) is no doubt a devastating one to the ski racing community, and the fans and supporters of the popular Vonn:
It's that time of year again. Time for athletes to act like superstars and saunter down the red carpet for ESPN's annual ESPY Awards. The Excellence in Sports Performance Yearly Award's will be hitting the Nokia Theatre in LA on July 13th. Comedian Seth Meyers returns this year as host and is sure to keep the crowd rolling with his raunchy humor.
Before the big show, ESPN wants you to vote for your favorite athletes. Several X Games athletes have been nominated for these prestigious awards and we think you should show your support for them.
See who's up for what and get on over to ESPYs.com to cast your vote.
Best Female Athlete:
- Won SuperPipe gold medal at Winter X, Winter X Europe and Burton U.S. Open.
- Became the first female snowboarder to land a 1080 in competition, at Winter X.
- Won the Super G, Super-Combined and Downhill titles in 2011.
- Finished the season with eight race wins.
Best Male Action Sports Athlete:
- Won gold in Snowboard SuperPipe at Winter X 2011 and Silver in Skateboard Vert at X Games 2010.
- Won the two Skateboard Vert stops at which he competed on the 2010 Dew Tour.
- Winter X and Winter X Europe repeat gold in Ski SuperPipe.
- Won 2 of 3 Dew Tour events plus the Dew points crown.
- Earned the AFP Superpipe points title by an enormous margin.
-Won his 10th ASP World Tour title (most in history) in 2010 at age 38.
-Is now the youngest person to win surfing's top points title (captured at age 20) and the oldest.
-Won Moto X Double gold at X Games 2010 (Freestyle and Speed & Style)
-Won his 5th straight Winter X SnoCross gold.
-Won 11 of 16 National series contests despite racing the 2nd half of the season with a wrist that needed surgery
-Captured both 2011 National series points titles.
Best Female Action Sports Athlete:
-Won Ski SuperPipe gold at both Winter X (her fourth SuperPipe gold at Winter X) and Winter X Europe.
-Also earned victories at a pair of World Cup events
-Won Winter X SuperPipe gold medal, Winter X Europe gold medal and Burton U.S. Open.
-Became the first female snowboarder to land a 1080 in competition, at Winter X.
-Won her second straight Moto X Racing gold at X Games 2010.
-Also finished second in points on the Women's Motocross Association tour in 2010.
-At 23, won four of the eight surfing events on the 2010 ASP World Tour on her way to a fourth straight points crown.
Go get your vote on. Do it.
One of the greatest thrills for a kid is to receive an autograph or perhaps a handshake from a major sports star, so when 11-year-old Kristina Wolff received a personal call from her longtime idol, world-class ski racer Lindsey Vonn, she was ... well, watch the video and witness for yourself the touching interaction between the two and Kristina brimming over with joy and excitement:
This came about after Kristina's parents had phoned the Red Bull consumer affairs office to inquire about receiving a signed photograph from Vonn, the 2010 Olympic downhill gold medalist and the most successful female ski racer in U.S. history.
Red Bull is one of Vonn's major sponsors and during one of the athlete's visits to company headquarters in Santa Monica, Calif., she graciously agreed to place the call and chat with to Kristina, a budding ski racer who lives in New Hampshire. Kristina's parents knew the call was coming but Kristina was told only that she should stay up a little longer because someone special might be calling.
Fortunately, Kristina's parents videotaped that end of the call with a cellphone. Red Bull, of course, videotaped Vonn making the call, and the result is a two-way conversation -- followed by a classic epic display of emotion at the end of the video -- that went public on Wednesday and is sure to tug at the heartstrings of viewers from around the world.
Kristina, of course, will cherish those moments for years to come.
The biannual alpine skiing world championships start tomorrow in Garmisch, Germany, and America's Lindsey Vonn is highly critical of the course of the women's Super G, which is scheduled for the first day's events. Vonn drew bib number 22, right behind teammate Julia Mancuso. Today after skiing the course, she said that she was "shocked and disappointed" at the conditions.
Posted to her Facebook page, Vonn wrote:
I have something I need to say. I am not trying to complain or be negative, but I feel strongly that this is an important safety issue that needs to be brought up. It is something that's on everyone's mind but everyone is afraid to bring it up. I just finished freeskiing the World champs super G race hill and I was shocked and disappointed at the condition of the hill. The hill is extremely bumpy pond ice from top to bottom. It has clearly been injected or hosed down with a ton of water. I have never seen a course prepared like this in my entire career, nothing even close. In my opinion the hill is WAY too icy and downright unsafe! I find it very hard to believe that the FIS has any concern for the safety of the athletes when the World Championships race hill is prepared like a bumpy ice rink. I fear there will be a lot of DNF's and crashes in the coming days. LV
For Vonn, a crash could be more perilous than usual: She recently suffered a concussion in a training crash and missed last Friday's World Cup slalom because of it. Ironically enough, FIS, the organization that oversees professional ski racing, just announced a study to evaluate safety factors, including course setting.
GRINDTV Newswire via USSA ( Wednesday April 21, 2010): Olympic medalists will reunite this Saturday in Denver for "Mile High Medals," a family fundraising event to benefit the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Team Foundation. Olympic champion Lindsey Vonn (Vail, CO), who also won the Audi FIS World Cup crown, along with silver medalist Todd Lodwick (Steamboat Springs, CO) will headine a lineup of a half-dozen current and past Olympic and Paralympic medalists.
"I'm anxious to see my Olympic teammates," said Vonn, who was celebrated in front of thousands recently at her home in Vail. "Most of all, though, I'm looking forward to celebrating with the Colorado families in Denver who help support our future U.S. Ski Team stars."
For Lodwick, Mile High Medals marks a return from his Heavy Medal Tour - a 10-day tour with his fellow nordic combined Olympic medalists of U.S. troops in Southwest Asia. Thousands packed his hometown of Steamboat Springs' April 2 for a rousing sendoff and Olympic celebration.
"The Heavy Medal Tour was very emotional and an amazing way for each of us, as Olympic medalists, to share some time with our troops," said Lodwick. "I will have plenty of stories to share with our U.S. Ski Team guests in Denver."
Vonn and Lodwick will be joined by freestyle aerials silver medalist Jeret "Speedy" Peterson (Boise, ID), moguls bronze medalist Shannon Bahrke (Tahoe City, CA), along with Paralympic sensation Alana Nichols (Taos, NM), a Winter Park, CO skier who won four medals including two gold.
The Olympian reunion will bring together more than a dozen current and past Olympians at the Cherry Hills home of U.S. Ski and Snowboard Team Foundation Trustee Eric Resnick, a managing director of KSL Capital Partners in Denver. One of the highlights of Mile High Medals will be an obstacle course race for kids, employing some of the same training tools and techniques used by the Olympians. Also on the schedule is a performance by the Flying Ace All Stars - one of the world's most exhilarating ski and snowboarding trampoline shows.
"The most heartwarming aspect of events like this is connecting our Olympic athletes with families," said the Team's Foundation chief Trace Worthington, himself a former Olympian and two-time freestyle World Champion. "Our athletes love to spend time with kids and inspire them to achieve their own goals in life.
"Most important of all is that we're raising money to support future generations of stars - giving those youngsters the same chance that Lindsey Vonn and Todd Lodwick had growing up in Colorado."
The victorious 2010 medalists will also get a chance to mingle with past stars including 1964 Olympic silver medalist Billy Kidd and 1992 medalist Nelson Carmichael, both of Steamboat Springs.
Unlike most other nations, U.S. athletes have no government support and rely on the generosity of American fans. U.S. Ski and Snowboard Foundation is a 501(c)3 non-profit which benefits young athletes who aspire to be a part of the U.S. Ski Team and U.S. Snowboarding.