Lindsey Vonn Takes Bronze Medal in Her Final Race
ARE, Sweden — Add yet one more — ultimate — comeback to Lindsey Vonn’s checklist of occupation accomplishments.
Five days after crashing in super-G — a fall that knocked the wind out of her and left her with a black eye and a bruised rib — and 3 months after tearing a ligament in her left knee, Vonn received the bronze medal in the arena championship downhill Sunday in the overall race of her occupation.
“I’m literally tapped out, I can’t cry anymore,” Vonn stated. “I wish to cry however it’s dry. It’s no longer a very simple factor to really feel your bones hitting in combination and proceed to push thru it.
“Of direction I’m sore. Even sooner than the crash I used to be sore. So I’m simply sore on best of sore. My neck is killing me,” Vonn stated. “But at the end of the day no one cares if my neck hurts; they only care if I win.”
Vonn were making plans on retiring in December however she not too long ago moved up her plans as a result of continual ache in either one of her surgically repaired knees. Then got here the super-G crash, when she straddled a gate in midair, flew face first down the mountain and slammed into the security nets.
“She has been business as usual this whole week, saying I’m racing to win,” Karin Kildow, Vonn’s sister, advised The Associated Press. “I was like, ‘Just maybe make it down and maybe stand up.’ But she was like, ‘No, I’m going full out’. She was definitely in the mind-set to push it and she really did.”
It’s a medal that brings Vonn complete circle: Her two silvers on the 2007 worlds at the identical direction in Sweden have been the primary two primary championship medals of her occupation.
“I was weighing in my mind the risk of putting it all out there, crashing and getting injured again, as opposed to finishing where I wanted to,” Vonn stated. “It was an internal battle.”
As quickly as she exited the end house, Vonn embraced Swedish nice Ingemar Stenmark, the one skier to win extra World Cup races than she did — 86 to 82.
“I basically begged him to come here via text, in all caps, many exclamation points,” Vonn stated. “He’s an icon and a legend in our sport and he doesn’t really like the spotlight but he deserves to have it. I was just so grateful that he was there. Honestly, it’s a perfect ending to my career.”
The 3rd skier at the direction, Vonn had a large smile on her face when she got here down with the quickest run to that time. She waved and bowed to the gang.
Eventually, Ilka Stuhec of Slovenia beat Vonn and took gold, protecting her identify from the 2017 worlds. Stuhec completed zero.23 seconds forward of silver medalist Corinne Suter of Switzerland and zero.49 forward of Vonn.
“Not many were counting on her to get the medal in her last race, which makes it even more special,” Stuhec stated of Vonn. “She has won everything.”
Vonn changed into the primary feminine skier to win medals at six other international championships. It’s additionally her 5th downhill medal at a worlds, matching the file established by means of Annemarie Moser-Proell and Christel Cranz.
“Thank You Lindsey: Forever A Star,” learn one signal located by means of the aspect of the direction.
Four U.S. flags have been in the grandstand when Vonn got here down and there have been rather a couple of cheers when she began her run dressed in a go well with with blue-and-yellow trim — Sweden’s colours — to honor Stenmark.
“She really deserves this send-off from her great career,” stated Eleanor Bodin, a 21-year-old fan from Sweden who was once retaining up an indication announcing “Thank You Lindsey.”
“She has been my favorite skier since 2008 when I saw her winning on television,” Bodin stated. “I was a little girl sitting on the sofa. I just thought what a great skier and inspiration.”
At 34, Vonn eclipsed her personal file from two years in the past for oldest lady to win a medal at a worlds.
Fog and wind pressured organizers to shorten the direction to the second one reserve get started, which liked Vonn as it decreased the stress on her knees.
Now she will in any case let her frame heal and transfer onto the following section of her lifestyles — most likely appearing, having youngsters, beginning a trade.
“I’m looking forward to just chilling out a bit and recovering everything, including my mind,” Vonn stated. “It’s been so much to procedure.
“The great factor is that, in the true international I’m in reality lovely younger. I’ve felt in point of fact previous for a very long time, as a result of I’m racing with women which can be like 15 years more youthful than me. So now, in the true international, I’m standard. Thirty is the brand new 20 so I’m large younger. I’ve were given so much to sit up for.”