Vonn confident she will ski in Sochi

Vonn confident she will ski in Sochi

NEW YORK - Agence France-Presse
Vonn confident she will ski in Sochi

Lindsey Vonn suffered an injury after a fall while training in Colorado’s Copper Mountain, but she is confident that she will recover before the Sochi Winter Olympic Games. AP photo

Reigning Winter Olympic downhill champion Lindsey Vonn said on Nov. 27 she is confident that she will be able to ski at the Sochi Games in February despite being injured in a crash last week.

Vonn told US Olympic telecaster NBC’s Today show that tearing a reconstructed ligament in her surgically repaired right knee when she fell at Colorado’s Copper Mountain during a training run has not ended her hopes for a strong season and more Olympic gold.

“Unfortunately, it was really bad timing for me, but I’m still confident,” Vonn said. “I still feel like I have a lot left to achieve this season. I just have to kind of take it day by day right now, but I still have time before Sochi.” Vonn, the girlfriend of 14-time major golf champion Tiger Woods, was hoping to return to competition in a World Cup event this week at Beaver Creek, Colorado, on the new Raptor course where the 2015 World Championships will be staged.

Instead, the crash -- which also bruised her shoulders and left her with minor facial cuts -- forced her to skip the US races. She hopes to regain enough stability in her knee to race next week in World Cup events at Lake Louise, Canada.

‘Progressing every day’

“I’ve been doing rehab and I’ve been progressing every day, but in the next couple of days I’m going to start getting on snow here at Vail and see how it feels and hopefully get a couple of days of training before I head up to Canada,” Vonn said.

“If things go well, I’ll be racing next week. If they don’t, then I’m going to have to reassess and kind of see where I stand and if I can make a comeback for this season. I’m feeling good from rehab. I feel stable.

“I put some weight on it yesterday as far as doing some weighted balance exercises and doing some squats and things like that, and it felt really good, so I’m very hopeful, but, like I said, I really don’t know until I get on snow.

“It’s one thing to feel stable while you’re doing squats. It’s another thing to feel stable while you’re actually racing at 90 miles an hour.

“There definitely is a long ways to go there, but I’m confident that it’s going to be OK. At this point, that’s all I can do is stay positive. I’m kind of out of options at this point. I’m hoping that it’s going to be stable and I’m hoping that I continue racing.”

Vonn was wearing a knee brace when she suffered her latest mishap after a February 5 crash at the World Championships in Austria that ended her 2012-2013 campaign. In that mishap she tore the anterior cruciate ligament and medial collateral ligament in her right knee and fractured her tibia.

Vonn said that brace helped ease the damage in the latest crash which was not a result of her trying to return too fast from injury.

“I don’t think I was pushing myself too hard. It just was unfortunately a fluke accident.

“But I’ve picked myself back up and I’m trying as hard as I can to keep going.

“I’m just fingers crossed that I can be racing next week because I’ve worked so hard all summer to get back to this point.”

Vonn won World Cup overall titles in 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2012 and with 59 race wins she is three shy of matching the women’s World Cup record owned by Austrian Annemarie Moser-Proell.