Lindsey Vonn is one of the world's most successful ski racers, winning more World Cups than any other American, along with the 2010 Olympic gold medal in downhill. And this legend has plenty of Utah ties. She made her World Cup debut at age 16 in Park City and once made a home for herself in the city after marrying former coach Thomas Vonn (now divorced).
We interviewed her for our December 2009 issue of Park City Life. "Right now, I'm looking to compete through the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia," she told us. "I think those games will be really cool."
Vonn hit a setback on Feb. 5, 2013, when she took a spill in the super-G of the Alpine world championships in Austria, tearing two knee ligaments in a tumbling crash. Kyle Wilkens, the United States ski team's medical director, told the New York Times that Vonn tore the anterior curate ligament and medial collateral ligament in her right knee and sustained a tibial fracture.
It all happened when Vonn landed badly after a jump 42 seconds into her run. As she hit the snow, she came flipping forward down the slope and her right ski came cartwheeling down after her. After smashing through a gate, she stopped about 100 feet down the slope. Medical personnel stayed with her for about 10 minutes, until she was airlifted to a hospital.
Vonn is in need of reconstructive knee surgery and will miss the rest of the season. She is expected to be back for the 2014 World Cup, along with the 2014 Winter Olympics.