After suffering an injury to her left knee during a super-G training run at Colorado’s Copper Mountain on November 19, Lindsey Vonn’s last season of skiing before retirement was looking grim.
But, like she’s done many times before, Vonn worked tirelessly for six weeks to get back on skis, and will officially rejoin World Cup competition in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy, this week.
Vonn planned to make her season comeback in St. Anton, Austria, last weekend, but due to heavy snowfall, the races were cancelled and moved to Cortina d'Ampezzo, thus postponing her anticipated return until Jan. 19.
After announcing her retirement in October, Vonn set high expectations for herself and for the season ahead. Although she holds the current title of the winningest woman skier of all time, Vonn is still four World Cup wins shy of beating Swedish legend Ingemar Stenmark’s record of 86 total World Cup victories, a record that she’s been striving to accomplish.
Recently though, Vonn told The Associated Press that she did not want whether or not she breaks Stenmark’s record to define her or her storied career.
“I don’t need 87 wins to be able to continue the work of my foundation, to help kids, inspire people to be healthy and active and positive and strive to reach their dreams and goals,” Vonn said. “I don’t need that record to accomplish those things. Once I retire, 87 won’t really matter anymore. It’s not going to change the way I leave the sport.”
Due to her injury, Vonn had to sit out of the first six events of the season, including the races at Lake Louise. She’s earned 18 of her 82 World Cup wins at the Alberta, Canada venue, where the women’s downhill run was officially renamed “Lake Lindsey Way” in December.
Since Vonn was unable to ski at Lake Louise this season, she recently announced that she will return from retirement next year to ski in the Lake Louise races one final time.
With plenty of World Cup stops remaining before the end of the season, if Vonn manages to stay healthy, there’s no telling what she can’t do.
Like she said on her Instagram account, she’s not done yet.
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