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Vonn pulls out of super-G with sore knee day after 78th career win

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December 17, 2017, 8:17 am
Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cup - Women's Super G

Lindsey Vonn skis to victory in Val-d’Isere, France. (Photo by Alain Grosclaude/Agence Zoom/Getty Images)

A day after bouncing back from a back injury to nail down her women’s record 78th World Cup win on Saturday, Vail’s Lindsey Vonn pulled out of a World Cup super-G in Val d’Isere, France on Sunday due to a sore knee.

“Unfortunately, I’m not racing today,” Vonn, 33, said Sunday. “Knee is a bit sore from yesterday, so to be on the safe side I’m going to give my body some rest. My focus is on the Olympics, so no need to risk anything now. Still going home very happy after my win yesterday.”

Saturday’s super-G marked Vonn’s first victory since January and was a solid bounce-back from a minor back injury sustained at St. Moritz last weekend. The weekend before that, Vonn struggled at a venue where she’s seen so much success, crashing twice at Lake Louise, Canada.

“I guess I’m not a washed-up old hag,” Vonn said following Saturday’s win, firing back at social media haters trolling her since controversial comments to CNN about her lack of support for President Donald Trump.  “I think I proved myself, and karma definitely comes back around. I’ve got some good karma coming my way.”

Vonn caused a stir ahead of the Feb. 9-25 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics by telling the cable news network, “I hope to represent the people of the United States, not the president.”

Now just eight wins away from tying the legendary men’s World Cup record-holder, Sweden’s Ingemar Stenmark, with 86 career victories, Vonn is far and away the greatest female ski racer of all time.

If she stays healthy she will no doubt be the face of the Winter Olympics in South Korea next year, where tensions will be high near the North Korean border. Trump has engaged in a fiery war of words with the rogue nuclear state.

Vonn felt compelled to respond to the CNN backlash with a passionate Instagram post before heading to France:

As I head to France for the next races, I would like to share with you my reflections from the past few days.

I’ve received a tremendous amount of feedback, both positive and negative, about my recent CNN interview. The point that I was trying to articulate is that all Olympic athletes represent their nation as a whole, and are not representatives of their government or any specific political figure or party. None of us work tirelessly for years on end to compete in the Olympics on behalf of Democrats or Republicans. The Olympics are a non-political event, a chance for everyone to put aside their differences and be on the same “team.”. That does not mean that Olympic athletes don’t have political opinions. As an American, I am extremely proud that our great nation was founded on principals and ideals where citizens can express our opinions openly. It is a privilege that some others around the world don’t have.

I am proud to be an American, and I want our country to continue to be a symbol of hope, compassion, inclusion and world unity. My travels around the world have recently made clear that this is no longer how people view the United States. You cannot pick up a newspaper or turn on the TV in Europe without noticing how people are questioning our direction. It seems to me that we must lead with understanding and strive for unity in our relationships throughout the world.

As for myself, my recent comments opened up my eyes as to how divided we are right now. It is hurtful to read comments where people are hoping I break my neck or that God is punishing me for being “anti-Trump.” We need to find a way to put aside our differences and find common ground in communicating. Is it wrong to hope for a better world?

All of this is much bigger than skiing and the Olympics. I am going to take the next two months to focus on what I can do and right now that is competing for my country. In doing that, I will be hoping that we Americans can still be that “shining city on a hill.”

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David O. Williams

Managing Editor at RealVail
David O. Williams is an award-winning freelance reporter based in the Vail Valley of Colorado, writing on health care, immigration, politics, the environment, energy, public lands, outdoor recreation and sports. His work has appeared in 5280 Magazine, American Way Magazine (American Airlines), the Anchorage Daily News (Alaska), Aspen Daily News, the Aspen Times, Beaver Creek Magazine, the Chicago Tribune, the Colorado Independent, Colorado Politics (formerly the Colorado Statesman), Colorado Public News, the Colorado Springs Gazette, the Colorado Independent (formerly Colorado Confidential), the Colorado Springs Independent, the Colorado Statesman (now Colorado Politics), the Daily Trail (Vail), the Denver Daily News, the Denver Post, the Durango Herald, the Eagle Valley Enterprise, the Eastside Journal (Bellevue, Washington), ESPN.com, the Glenwood Springs Post-Independent, the Greeley Tribune, the Huffington Post, the King County Journal (Seattle, Washington), KUNC.org (northern Colorado), LA Weekly, the London Daily Mirror, the Montgomery Journal (Maryland), The New York Times, the Parent’s Handbook, Peaks Magazine (now Epic Life), People Magazine, Powder Magazine, the Pueblo Chieftain, PT Magazine, Rocky Mountain Golf Magazine, the Rocky Mountain News, Atlantic Media's RouteFifty.com (formerly Government Executive State and Local), SKI Magazine, Ski Area Management, SKIING Magazine, the Summit Daily News, United Hemispheres (United Airlines), Vail/Beaver Creek Magazine, Vail en Español, Vail Valley Magazine, the Vail Daily, the Vail Trail and Westword (Denver). Williams is also the founder, publisher and editor of RealVail.com and RockyMountainPost.com.

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