Photos: Lindsey Vonn announces she won't compete in Olympics

In the headline of a November post, we asked a simple question: Could Lindsey Vonn's latest injury keep her out of the 2014 Olympics?

The answer, posted moments ago on Vonn's Facebook page, is yes.

Look below for Vail-based Vonn's complete statement, followed by our earlier coverage of the knee injury that will keep one of America's best hopes for gold at next month's games in Sochi, Russia, off the slopes.

Here's Vonn's statement:

I am devastated to announce that I will not be able to compete in Sochi. I did everything I possibly could to somehow get strong enough to overcome having no ACL but the reality has sunk in that my knee is just too unstable to compete at this level. I'm having surgery soon so that I can be ready for the World Championships at home in Vail next February. On a positive note, this means there will be an additional spot so that one of my teammates can go for gold. Thank you all so much for all of the love and support. I will be cheering for all of the Olympians and especially team USA!

XO Lindsey

And here's our complete post from November, combined with previous coverage, photos and videos.

Original post, 6:58 a.m., November 20, 2013: Vail's Lindsey Vonn has been everywhere lately -- flirting with David Letterman, inspiring a bizarre Halloween costume on ESPN's Pardon The Interruption, even hanging on the sideline of Sunday's Broncos-Chiefs game with main squeeze Tiger Woods. But now, she's making the wrong kind of news. When she underwent surgery for torn knee ligaments in February, experts wondered if the injury would keep her out of the 2014 Olympics -- and such questions are back following a training crash at Copper Mountain yesterday. See photos, videos and details below.

All seemed great in Vonn's world this weekend. Here's a look at her and Woods at the Broncos game:

But yesterday, as noted by 9News, she crashed during a training run and is said to have injured her knee.

How badly? She reportedly underwent an MRI, but the results of it have yet to be shared by anyone, including Vonn. Although she's one of the busiest celebs on social media, the most recent post on her Facebook page, from November 12, was a video of her latest commercial for Under Armour:

Speaking of Under Armour, a training video Vonn made for the company a few years back began making the rounds again after reports of her injury, with some of those sharing it insisting that it qualifies as porn. We don't think so, but we've included it below for you to decide for yourself.

As for Vonn's Twitter account, the most recent item on it is from Monday; it links to the following Instagram photo, which is accompanied by a note that reads, "Catching some air today in Downhill training @gopro #headwhatsyourlimit:"

Continue to see our February item about Vonn's previous injury and earlier coverage, featuring photos and videos. That's followed by an update about her November crash and the aforementioned training video. Update, 6:59 a.m. February 7: 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.

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.

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.

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

Continue for videos about Vonn's latest crash and the training video. Here's a 9News report on Lindsey Vonn's latest setback....

...and here's the Under Armour-sponsored Vonn training video that began making the rounds again following the latest developments.

Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.

More from our Sports archive: "Video of the Day: Lindsey Vonn on the risks of Tiger Woods going down."

KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts