Leave it to Lindsey Vonn! Just one day after suffering a season ending injury, the champion skier maintains her resolve to perform during 2014 Olympic season. Vonn underwent treatment at a Schladming hospital, where it was determined that Tuesday's crash caused a complex knee injury, including a torn ACL and MCL, along with a lateral tibial plateau fracture. She was released shortly after the evaluation, and wasted little time planning her return to the United States to undergo surgery.
Vonn released a statement, saying, “First off I want to say thank you to the amazing medical staff that cared for me. I plan on returning to Vail as soon as I can to have the necessary surgeries. I am also grateful to my fans for the outpouring of support, which has really helped me stay positive. I can assure you that I will work as hard as humanly possible to be ready t
o represent my country next year in Sochi.”
While her injury is a devastating blow to the Women's U.S. Ski Team, Vonn's experience is all too common in the world of alpine skiing. A study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine cites 191 acute injuries recorded among 521 World Cup Alpine Skiers during the 2009 competitive season. In terms of frequency, knee injuries are the most common among World Cup athletes, amounting to 36% of those recorded. Furthermore, 45% of the total injuries occurred during the World Championships, where pressure to perform obviously runs the highest.
When you're shredding down a hill at over 90mph, there's bound to be crashes. Lindsey Vonn is well of aware of the risks surrounding her sport, and is no stranger to overcoming physical injury. The skier is well known for her ability to defy physical setbacks, and power through to victory. During the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, she skied on a severely bruised shin to capture a gold medal in the downhill and bronze in the super g! There's also a famous story of Vonn's attempted escape from a hospital after suffering an injury while training at the 2006 Turin Olympics (she was eventually released and competed in 4 of 5 events).
The mental game is a huge aspect of the recovery process. If Lindsey Vonn is optimistic about her return to the slopes for the 2012/2013 season and 2014 Olympics, then there is little reason to doubt its inevitability. The Olympic Champion is well aware of what her body is capable of achieving. As her fans, it’s our duty to continue our support during her journey back to the top!