Lindsey Vonn and Mikaela Shiffrin, arguably the two best female skiers in the world, are currently on divergent paths as Vonn rolled to her fourth straight World Cup victory Saturday in Sweden shortly after Shiffrin suffered a scary knee injury.
The giant slalom victory was the 71st World Cup win for the 31-year-old Vonn, already the winningest skier in United States history, and her fourth straight after fighting back from a broken ankle she suffered while training in New Zealand in August. It was also her first giant slalom victory since the injury.
Unfortunately for the U.S. Women’s ski team, as Vonn was continuing to cement her spot atop the world ranks, one of the brightest young stars was sitting on the sidelines as the 20-year-old Shiffrin crashed while free skiing on the race hill in Are, Sweden, injuring her right knee before she was scheduled to race Saturday.
“I am flying home tomorrow for a complete evaluation,” the reigning Olympic slalom champion wrote on Facebook. “I have at least MCL injury and bone bruising, hopefully no additional injury. Full diagnosis and recovery predictions after I’ll see a doctor at home.”
While Vonn was ecstatic after notching another win, she tempered her excitement post-race with concern for the health of Shiffrin and Swedish skier Sara Hector, who was also injured during the weekend.
“I hope both of them are OK,” Vonn told the Associated Press. “Ski racing needs Mikaela and Sara. We can’t afford to lose any more athletes so I really hope that they’re both OK.”
Vonn expressed that same sentiment over Twitter, reaching out to the young skiers to express her sympathy:
— lindsey vonn (@lindseyvonn) December 12, 2015
For her part, Shiffrin seemed to be taking the injury in stride:
I have a new-found respect for people who take showers without putting weight on one leg. A one leg shower. #balance
— Mikaela Shiffrin (@MikaelaShiffrin) December 12, 2015
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