Uh-oh: Lindsey Vonn's all-but-inevitable march to the podium in Vancouver might have just been derailed before it started. Today she revealed that she suffered a painful shin injury in training that could possibly keep her from competing at all.
"It's hard to focus on just being prepared for the Olympics when you have such a big injury like this," she said. "It's definitely changed my whole perspective coming into these Games, and definitely not the place that I want to be.
"I won the last World Cup race of the season before coming into these Games. I was doing great, I was healthy, I had no problems. Now I'm sitting here today questioning whether, you know, I'll even be able to ski."
Well, crap. Vonn said the injury happened while making a left turn on a slalom course while training in Austria with the US Ski team. Her right leg slipped out from under her, and when she pulled it back in, she wrecked, banging her shin.
Far from a Bode-style flameout, Vonn is known as one of the hardest trainers in skiing--a fact borne out by her utter World Cup dominance last year. She had hoped to be the first American skier to claim five medals in alpine skiing, but she doesn't even have to pull that off to be the best-ever; no American skier has ever puled down more than two.
In Vonn's favor: This girl's an expert at "working through the pain," as she demonstrated in Turin by racing on painkillers after a potentially career-killing crash and placing eighth. But even she calls this the "most painful injury I've ever had."
Interestingly, she's kept the injury a secret for a week. Could that have anything to do with this? Hmm...
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.