Lindsey Vonn, champion of the US Ski Team, will retire after races in Åre, Sweden, later this month due to serious injuries she announced in thrilling posts on social networks on Friday.
The posts on Instagram and Facebook said that Vonn would compete as planned in downhill and Super G races in Åre, Sweden, in February, and that these would be the last races of his career.
"My body is broken beyond repair and is not letting me have the last season I dreamed of. My body is screaming for I STOP and it's time for me to listen, "Vonn wrote on the Instagram.
Vonn is considered to be the greatest American skier of all time, and is the most successful skier of the World Alpine World Cup.
It will be remembered not just for its record, "but as an athlete who has inspired people around the world, in and out of the sport of ski racing for many years," said Tiger Shaw, president of US Ski & Snowboard. statement provided to BuzzFeed News ..
Vonn started skiing at age three and competed in his first races at the age of seven. She joined the US ski team in 2002 when she was 17 years old.
She became the first US woman to win an Olympic gold medal in downhill skiing at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, despite suffering a leg injury two weeks earlier.
"In recent years I have had more injuries and surgeries than I would have liked to admit. I have always pushed the limits of ski races and this has allowed me to have incredible success, but also dramatic crashes," Vonn said in his statement.
Vonn said that an accident she suffered in November left her with a tear in her LCL in her left knee and that "despite extensive therapy, training and knee-jerk, I am not able to do the maneuvers necessary to compete the way I know can "
In 2015, she broke the women's world record of all World Cup victories, beating Annemarie Moser-Pröll's 62 wins.
After skipping Sochi's games due to a knee injury, Vonn struggled to compete at the PyeongChang Olympics in 2018, saying he wanted to defend his Olympic gold medal.
She took bronze home on downhill skiing in PyeongChang, saying at the time it would be her last Olympics.
"This is my last descent. I wish I could continue, you know. I have a lot of fun, I love what I do, "Vonn told NBC in an interview after the race. "My body can not probably can not take four more years."
With 82 World Cup titles, Vonn is slightly below the goal of beating the 86-time Ingemar Stenmark World Cup record.
At Instagram, Vonn wrote that failure to achieve this was the most disturbing part of his decision to retire.
"Honestly, retiring is not what disturbs me. To retire without reaching my goal is what will stay with me forever. However, I can look at 82 World Cup wins, 20 World Cup titles, 3 Olympic medals , 7 medals at the World Cup and say I've done something no other woman in HISTORY did, and that's something I'll be proud of FOREVER! "
Vonn has suffered numerous injuries throughout his career, overcoming serious knee injuries, broken ankles and multiple fractures near the knee to return to sport and again.
"There are a lot of athletes who achieve amazing results and when they get hurt, especially several times, they wonder:" Is it worth it? "Said US Alpine director Patrick Riml to the AP in 2017 .
"His determination, his motivation to become better, to win more races, is unbelievable," he said.
"I've always pushed the limits of ski runs and this has allowed me to have incredible success, but also dramatic crashes," Vonn said in his Instagram post. "I never wanted the plot of my career to be about injuries."
She thanked the fans in the post and said she was looking forward to her last races in Sweden.
"I can not wait to see some of you in the end in Åre where I'll give it my all one last time," she wrote.