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Photos: Lindsey Vonn and Tiger Woods are dating -- and changing their Facebook status

In recent weeks, rumors that Vail skier Lindsey Vonn had hooked up with golfer Tiger Woods were snowed under by word of Vonn's wipe-out at the world championships in Austria, where she suffered a severe knee injury; see our previous coverage below.

Now, however, Lindsey and Tiger are refocusing on love, or at least the pursuit of it, by announcing on Twitter and Facebook that they're dating. Included are a series of photos that look like engagement pics -- but let's not rush things! Check them out below.

As you know, Eldrick Tont "Tiger" Woods' seemingly unstoppable run as the planet's greatest golfer -- and perhaps the best of all-time -- came to a crashing halt, literally, in late November 2009, when he rammed his Escalade into a fire hydrant and a tree, among other things.

This incident seems minor in and of itself, but the mishap led to a series of revelations about infidelity on a jumbo scale.

Hard to know why Woods was cheating, since many of the women who subsequently stepped forward to announce that they'd gotten horizontal with Tiger shared the blond hair and Nordic features of his wife, Elin Nordegren, albeit typically with a lot more signs of bad road on them.

Come to think of it, Vonn exemplifies this particular model of homo sapien thanks to her undeniable athleticism, which has made her one of the United States' most decorated winter athletes and Olympians. And while she's certainly a global personality, she continues to call Colorado home.

In recent years, Vonn has been linked with plenty of eligible famous people, including Tim Tebow -- a story she denied on Twitter. But no such denials surfaced in regard to Woods, and now we know why. Yesterday on Twitter and Facebook, she shared the following photo....

Photos: Lindsey Vonn and Tiger Woods are dating -- and changing their Facebook status

...and this message:

I guess it wasn't a well-kept secret but yes, I am dating Tiger Woods. Our relationship evolved from a friendship into something more over these past few months and it has made me very happy. I don't plan on addressing this further as I would like to keep that part of my life between us, my family and close friends. Thank you for understanding and your continued support! xo LV

Did Woods reciprocate with public dating confirmation? Oh man, did he ever.

Continue for more about Tiger Woods and Lindsey Vonn's dating announcement, including more photos -- plus our previous coverage.

On his own Facebook page, Woods highlighted even more images of him and Ms. Vonn, including this one....

Photos: Lindsey Vonn and Tiger Woods are dating -- and changing their Facebook status

...and this post:

This season has been great so far and I'm happy with my wins at Torrey and Doral. Something nice that's happened off the course was meeting Lindsey Vonn. Lindsey and I have been friends for some time, but over the last few months we have become very close and are now dating. We thank you for your support and for respecting our privacy. We want to continue our relationship, privately, as an ordinary couple and continue to compete as athletes.

This plea for privacy, offered in a mighty public way, has resulted in a gusher of coverage for the pair, as anticipated. And those who visited Vonn's Facebook page know that despite her current romantic partnership, she's still got an eye for handsome men. She recently posted this shot of a certain Orlando Bloom:

Photos: Lindsey Vonn and Tiger Woods are dating -- and changing their Facebook status

The message accompanying the shot reads: "Look who I found in Vail! @orlandJB_Bloom @vailmtn #niceguy #vailsawesome."

Then again, Woods shouldn't have any difficulty keeping track of Vonn's whereabouts, given that she isn't moving too quickly right now. As evidence, check out this other recently shared image:

Photos: Lindsey Vonn and Tiger Woods are dating -- and changing their Facebook status

The text accompanying this shot? "Check out the screw in my knee!! 2 week checkup went well, making progress! @gopro #screwyknee."

Making progress, indeed. Here are more photos of Woods and Vonn, followed by our previous coverage.

Photos: Lindsey Vonn and Tiger Woods are dating -- and changing their Facebook status

Photos: Lindsey Vonn and Tiger Woods are dating -- and changing their Facebook status

Continue for our previous coverage of Lindsey Vonn, her injury and those now-confirmed Tiger Woods rumors, complete with photos and video.

Big photos below.
Big photos below.

Update, 6:59 a.m., February 27: Vail's Lindsey Vonn has made news of late for reasons that go well beyond her skiing skills -- like, for instance, her alleged dalliances with golfer Tiger Woods. But her massive wipe-out at the world championships in Austria has changed the narrative. She's now expected to return to Colorado for surgery, and while she's confident she'll be back in time for the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia, others aren't sure. Details, crash video and lotsa pics below.

As we reported below, Vonn, who's on the cover of the current issue of Outside magazine after topping its list of sixty "perfect" things, was competing in the Super-G at the world championships but lost control after a jump and smashed into a gate.

Vonn's Facebook profile photo.
Vonn's Facebook profile photo.

As a result, Vonn reportedly tore two knee ligaments (the ACL and MCL) and broke a bone in her lower leg (technically a lateral tibial plateau fracture).

Afterward, Vonn released a statement that reads in part, "I am 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 to represent my country next year in Sochi."

That won't be easy. Having more than a little experience with ACL injuries (my daughter has torn hers in both knees), I know that recovery takes a minimum of six months, but often considerably more than that -- and the additional MCL tear and bone fracture complicate things immeasurably, especially given the pounding Vonn gives her legs while competing at the highest level of her sport.

Add the fact that Vonn recently was on the shelf for a month with an intestinal condition that led to her hospitalization and you've got a challenge even Adrian Peterson might find daunting. After all, Vonn doesn't want the Sochi Olympics, slated to get underway approximately a year from now, to be her first time back on the slopes. Rather, she's targeting the World Cup speed races taking place in Lake Louise, Alberta, circa November/December.

What are her odds? Time magazine put that question to Dr. Jo Hannifan, an orthopedic surgeon at the Hospital for Special Surgery who served as a physician for the United States Olympic Committee for the 2004 games in Athens. "The issue with injury and surgery is that things are never perfect," she notes. "And there's the psychological challenge. But I wouldn't think that would have much of an effect on her."

Indeed, Vonn isn't an injury novice, having hurt herself in competition many a time, including a training crash at the 2006 Olympics in Torino and notable tumbles in 2007 and 2009. And while her wounds from Austria are the worst of her sparkling career to date, Hannifan says, ""If anyone can do it, she can. She's really an astonishing athlete."

Here's video of her fateful Super-G run earlier this week, followed by our earlier posts.

Continue for our previous coverage, including Vonn's Outside magazine cover, an accompanying video and a photo gallery.

Update, 11:03 a.m. February 5: Our post this morning spotlighting Vail's Lindsey Vonn was lighthearted, focusing on her rumored relationship with golfer Tiger Woods and an Outside magazine cover that described her as perfect. But things didn't go perfectly at the ongoing skiing world championships in Austria. She reportedly wiped out during a Super-G race and was taken by helicopter to a local hospital.

According to the Associated Press, Vonn's injury -- she lost control after landing a jump and smashed into a gate -- doesn't appear to be life-threatening. Indeed, the main damage is said to have been done to her right knee. That's a big problem from a competitive standpoint, particularly considering that Vonn recently returned to the slopes after a month-long break caused by an intestinal disorder that also required hospitalization. But it won't hurt her standing with fans...including, possibly, a certain Mr. Woods.

Continue to read our previous item, complete with photos aplenty.

Original post, 7:50 a.m. February 5: Skier Lindsey Vonn is one of Colorado's most celebrated athletes -- but she seems to get as much attention for rumors about who she's banging as for victories on the slopes. Not that she doesn't fuel the frenzy. Whispers that she's getting horizontal with golfer Tiger Woods arrive at the same time as Outside magazine has listed her as the most perfect thing on its list of sixty -- a claim enhanced by a pic of her busting out of a bikini. Here's the full cover.

Photos: Lindsey Vonn and Tiger Woods are dating -- and changing their Facebook status

The Outside article that justified this image -- as well as a behind-the-scenes video of the photo shoot, also included below -- is a wide-ranging opus, juxtaposing discussions of her skiing accomplishments about personal-life details, including her 2011 divorce, which is now final.

Even before she was officially on the market, the grapevine suggested that Tim Tebow had helped break up Vonn's marriage -- a claim she took to Twitter to deny. But she's not exactly slapping down suggestions that she and Woods are an item. In a press conference for the Alpine world championships in Austria, which get underway today, she giggled while replying, "Oh, my God! I don't know -- you should ask him."

Tiger does seem to have a thing for Nordic-looking blonds....

Look below for a Vonn photo gallery culled from shots she shares on her Facebook page, followed by the Outside photo shoot video.

Photos: Lindsey Vonn and Tiger Woods are dating -- and changing their Facebook status

Continue for more of our Lindsey Vonn photo gallery, including a video.

Photos: Lindsey Vonn and Tiger Woods are dating -- and changing their Facebook status

Photos: Lindsey Vonn and Tiger Woods are dating -- and changing their Facebook status

Photos: Lindsey Vonn and Tiger Woods are dating -- and changing their Facebook status

Continue for more of our Lindsey Vonn photo gallery, including a video.

Photos: Lindsey Vonn and Tiger Woods are dating -- and changing their Facebook status

Photos: Lindsey Vonn and Tiger Woods are dating -- and changing their Facebook status

Photos: Lindsey Vonn and Tiger Woods are dating -- and changing their Facebook status

Continue for more of our Lindsey Vonn photo gallery, including a video.

Photos: Lindsey Vonn and Tiger Woods are dating -- and changing their Facebook status

Photos: Lindsey Vonn and Tiger Woods are dating -- and changing their Facebook status

Photos: Lindsey Vonn and Tiger Woods are dating -- and changing their Facebook status

Continue for more of our Lindsey Vonn photo gallery, including a video.

Photos: Lindsey Vonn and Tiger Woods are dating -- and changing their Facebook status

Photos: Lindsey Vonn and Tiger Woods are dating -- and changing their Facebook status

More from our Tech archive: "Lindsey Vonn tells Twitter Nation that Tim Tebow didn't break up her marriage."