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TRIBUTES AS LINDSEY VONN RETIRES - James Cove, PlanetSKI Editor
Friday February 1, 2019 - Email this article to a friend

The Queen of Speed hangs up her race skis after the World Championships in Sweden next week. PlanetSKI pays tribute to the best female ski racer of all time. UPDATED




"After many sleepless nights, I have accepted I cannot continue," she said in an emotional post on social media.

"I will compete at the World Championships in downhill and super-G next week in Are, Sweden and they will be the final races of my career."

"The past two weeks have been some of the most emotionally challenging days of my life. I am struggling with the reality of what my body is telling me versus what my mind and heart believe I'm capable of."

"The unfortunate reality is my mind and body are not on the same page."

We reproduce her full social media statement at the end of this article.

Vonn in actionVonn in action

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It has not come as a surprise as she said she was considering calling it a day after her last race:

How we will remember herHow we will remember her

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Her record speaks for itself.

82 World Cup wins, 20 World Cup titles, three Olympic medals, seven World Championship medals.

Her goal this season was to surpass the record of 86 World Cup wins held by the legendary Swedish skier, Ingemar Stenmark.

She is currently four short on 82.

She will not now take the record.

Tributes are coming in and we will be updating this story shortly, so do check back.

She will be remembered not just for her record "but as an athlete who has inspired people around the world, both in and out of the sport of ski racing, for many years," said US Ski & Snowboard President, Tiger Shaw, in a statement.

John Dakin, the vice president of communications with the Colorado Ski & Snowboard Museum and Hall of Fame, called Vonn "the toughest competitor I've ever met in 40-plus years of being involved in ski racing."

"The hardest thing for an elite athlete to do is to know when it's time to go," he said.

"I can appreciate the agony that Lindsey experienced in coming to this decision."

Facebook reactionFacebook reaction

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Fans pay tributeFans pay tribute

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

She started skiing at age 3-years old and competed in her first races at age 7.

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.

In the meantime here is her statement in full.

Over the past few years I have had more injuries and surgeries than I care to admit.

I have always pushed the limits of ski racing and it has allowed me to have amazing success but also dramatic crashes.

I have never wanted the storyline of my career to be about injuries and because of that I decided not to tell anyone that I underwent surgery this past spring.

A large portion of cartilage that had delaminated from my bone was removed.

My crash in Lake Louise last year was much more painful than I let on, but I continued to race because I wanted to win a medal in the Olympics for my late grandfather.

Again, I rehabbed my way back this summer and I felt better than I had in a long time.

Then I crashed in Copper this November and injured my left knee, tearing my LCL plus sustaining 3 fractures.

Despite extensive therapy, training and a knee brace, I am not able make the turns necessary to compete the way I know I can.

My body is broken beyond repair and it isn't letting me have the final season I dreamed of.

My body is screaming at me to STOP and it's time for me to listen.

At this point, arthritis is the least of my worries and I hope I can still ski with my kids some day.

But even knowing what lies ahead for my body, it has still been worth it.

I have always worked hard, fought back and dealt with whatever comes my way because I simply love skiing.

At no point have I ever regretted my injuries, my comebacks, the therapy, the preparation and even the pain because in my mind it has always been worth it.

Honestly, retiring isn't what upsets me.

Retiring without reaching my goal is what will stay with me forever.

However, I can look back at 82 World Cup wins, 20 World Cup titles, 3 Olympic medals, 7 World Championship medals and say that I have accomplished something that no other woman in HISTORY has ever done, and that is something that I will be proud of FOREVER!

So please let my story be of comebacks, victories and even injuries, but do not tell my story as one of failures or unreached goals.

I always say, "Never give up!"

So to all the the kids out there, to my fans who have sent me messages of encouragement to keep going... I need to tell you that I'm not giving up! I'm just starting a new chapter.

Don't lose faith in your dreams, keep fighting for what you love, and if you always give everything you have you'll be happy no matter what the outcome.

Thank you for the amazing years, for supporting me through thick and thin, and for making my job so fun.

Can't wait to see some of you in the finish in Are where I will give it my all one last time.

Love always,

Lindsey

When it all began...When it all began...




















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