After failing to finish higher than ninth in several races over the weekend (and failing to finish one entire race), Lindsey Vonn may be closer than ever to calling it a career and hanging up her skis and poles for good. Vonn spoke to reporters after she couldn’t finish the World Cup super-G at Cortina D’Ampezzo, Italy, and said it’s “a possibility” that she could retire immediately.
“…now it’s time to listen to my body and it’s time to say goodbye. But I’m emotional right now,” Vonn quickly told the AP. “I have to really think clearly about that. It’s not a decision I make lightly or quickly.”
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Her placement in the races isn’t why she’s considering immediate retirement, but the injuries that have plagued her career. Vonn has dealt with knee injuries throughout her career and is currently dealing with a sprained ligament in her left knee that’s been healing since November. Her right knee has been surgically repaired numerous times, and with braces on both knees, she’s having issues generating the power and speed she needs to be truly competitive on the slopes.
“I’ve had four surgeries on my right knee. I’ve got no LCL (lateral collateral ligament) on my left knee. I’ve got two braces on. There’s only so much I can handle and I might have reached my maximum,” Vonn said. “I’m not sure. I’ve got to take a couple days’ time and really think about things.”
Vonn has racked up 82 World Cup wins and needs just five more to break Ingemar Stenmark’s all-time wins record of 86. Reaching that mark has been a goal for Vonn, but her injuries mean that she will almost certainly retire short of that goal.
A spokesperson from the U.S. Ski Team told the Associated Press that Vonn will take the next few days to process everything before deciding how she wants to move forward.