Winter Olympics: Lindsey Vonn says body ‘can’t take another four years’ after Pyeongchang bronze.
Winter Olympics: Lindsey Vonn says, her body “can’t take another four years” after she became the oldest woman to claim a Winter Olympics alpine skiing medal.
Winter Olympics: Lindsey Vonn says, body ‘can’t take another four years’ after Pyeongchang bronze. Vonn, 33, finished 0.47 seconds behind Italy’s Sofia Goggia to take bronze in the women’s downhill in Pyeongchang.
The American has struggled with injury since winning her first Olympic medal at Vancouver in 2010. “I wish I could keep skiing and I wish my body doesn’t hurt as bad as it does,” she said.
Vonn said that the Games in Pyeongchang would “probably” be her last Olympic appearance, adding she was counting on “medical miracles” to extend her career.
However, her sisters Laura and Karin told Reuters that they would “never say never” when it came to Vonn’s career.
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Speaking to BBC Sport, an emotional Vonn said she wanted to win “for my grandpa.”
Vonn’s racing helmet features the initials ‘D.K.’ and a heart in memory of grandfather Don Kildow, who died in November.
“It’s hard to process it’s my last Olympic downhill race. I really want to keep racing forever, but I can’t,” she said.
“It meant a lot to me that my dad was here. We had some rough times and he wasn’t in Vancouver (in 2010) when I won so it meant a lot to me that he was here.”
From the sofa to the podium
Vonn claimed downhill gold and super-G bronze in 2010 but missed out four years later after tearing her anterior cruciate ligament and shattering her right knee.
She jarred her back in December last year in the build-up to the Games, but recovered to compete in a World Cup race a week later.
“During Sochi, I was on the couch watching the Olympics after my second ACL surgery. And I’ve had a lot of ups and downs – mostly downs – during that time,” she said.
“If you think what’s happened over the last eight years, to come away with a medal is a dream come true.”
Gold medallist Goggia also missed the Sochi Games with a knee injury, and Vonn spoke to the Italian in November about how to deal with the pressure of the Olympics.
“If there’s someone that’s going to beat me, I’m happy it’s her because she’s worked her tail off,” Vonn said.
“We had coffee and she asked me how I deal with the pressure and expectation, and it probably helped her. But I’m happy to do that – that’s sportsmanship.”
Goggia said that her main goal on arriving in Korea was to “beat Lindsey,” adding: “It’s an honour to be racing the greatest skier of all time, on the female side. I feel like I am going to erupt.”
What next for Vonn?
Vonn is set to run in Thursday’s alpine combined downhill race, and also wants to race in a men’s event before she ends her career.
She has 81 race wins in the World Cup and is targeting Swede Ingemar Stenmark’s record of 86 victories.
“I’m going to miss the Olympics and that’s one of the reasons why it was so emotional for me,” Vonn said.
“I love racing – love being in the starting gate with so much pressure that you feel suffocated.”
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