Olympic champion Lindsey Vonn returned to on snow training on Aug. 31, nearly seven months after suffering a serious season-ending crash at the 2013 World Championships (Jonathan Selkowitz/Red Bull Content Pool)
PORTILLO, Chile (Sept. 2) – A smiling and pain free Lindsey Vonn (Vail, CO), Olympic gold medalist and four-time Audi FIS Alpine World Cup overall champion, clicked into her skis for the first time in almost seven months on Saturday (Aug. 31) as she rejoined the Best in the World women’s speed team for the first day of a two-week camp in Portillo. Originally slated to ski for the first time on Sunday, an eager Vonn - who landed in nearby Santiago Saturday morning - snatched two gentle runs as soon as her equipment arrived in Portillo. Vonn severely injured her right knee on Feb. 5 during a crash in the opening race of the 2013 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in Schladming, Austria. While projected to return to snow in November, Vonn is ahead of schedule as she begins to build toward defending her downhill Olympic gold medal next February in Sochi, Russia – just over one year after her season-ending crash.
Lindsey Vonn returned to on snow training Saturday (Aug. 31) in Portillo, Chile following a seven-month recovery from a season-ending injury to her right knee on Feb. 5, 2013.
The crash, suffered at the 2013 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships, resulted in a torn ACL/MCL and a fractured tibial plateau.
Her return-to-snow consisted of two leisurely runs Saturday on a moderate slope in Portillo, only a few hours after landing in Chile on an overnight flight from the U.S.
On Sunday (Sept. 1) she picked up the pace slightly with five runs consisting of easy drills and minor arcing on flat terrain. She hopes to return to gate training near the end of the two-week camp.
Vonn joined teammates Julia Mancuso (Squaw Valley, CA), Stacey Cook (Mammoth Mountain, CA), Leanne Smith (N. Conway, NH) and Laurenne Ross (Bend, OR) for the two-week camp. St. Anton downhill winner Alice McKennis (Glenwood Springs, CO) hopes to return to snow in Nov. after suffering a similar injury to Vonn at the end of the season.
While U.S. Ski Team coaches and medical staff will monitor Vonn’s progress on a daily basis, she is hoping to return to racing in time for the Nov. 29-Dec. 1 Audi FIS Alpine World Cup races in Beaver Creek, CO. The three-day event will serve as a test for the 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships.
Currently Vonn is three wins behind Austrian Annemarie Moser-Proll's all-time women’s record of 62 World Cup wins. If Vonn surpasses the mark this season, she will become the most successful female in World Cup history.
QUOTES Lindsey Vonn I've crashed a lot in my career and I’m just getting back up as fast as I can. Unfortunately it's taken me seven months to get back up this time but I was really excited to get back out there. It feels like the right time and my body feels ready.
I can’t tell which knee is injured - that’s a good sign. I usually go from zero to a hundred. I’m not good in between so this is going to be a challenge.