Ski champion Vonn aiming for Sochi

6th February 2013, by Abi Butcher

Lindsey Vonn is said to be in

Lindsey Vonn is said to be in "good spirits" after her crash yesterday in Schladming

Ski racer Lindsey Vonn is said to be in “good spirits” and plans to get back to full fitness to compete at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, following a crash in “brutal” conditions yesterday at the World Ski Championships in Schladming, Austria.

Vonn crashed while competing in the women’s super G, which had contentiously started in flat light at 2.30pm, after a postponement of three and half hours because of fog.

The four-time World Champion fell after getting air over a jump, her ski came off and she slid further down the course before coming to a halt. Vonn was airlifted to a hospital in Schladming, where later US ski team medical director Kyle Wilkens confirmed that the Olympic champion has torn her anterior cruciate ligament and medial collateral ligament in her right knee. She also suffered a tibial fracture.

At the time of the crash, 28-year-old Vonn was leading over Tina Maze, currently heading the women’s leaderboard, by 0.12 seconds.

Vonn is expected to fly back to Vail, Colorado for surgery at the weekend. In a statement, she said: “I plan on returning to Vail as soon as I can to have the necessary surgeries. I am also grateful to my fans for the outpouring of support, which has really helped me stay positive. I can assure you that I will work as hard as humanly possible to be ready to represent my country next year in Sochi.”

Lindsey Vonn took a month off earlier this season after a stint in hospital for an intestinal illness in November, and had just regained her form with two wins last month.

Ski Sunday presenter Graham Bell was watching the race live, and commented on Twitter: “Why did they start this race so late in the day? Dodgy light, dodgy snow conditions, dodgy weather”, adding today: “Most ACL repairs will mean six months off skis, Vonn will be back for Southern Hemisphere training…”

Meanwhile, Britain’s Chemmy Alcott, who herself returned to competition this season following a compound injury of her right leg in 2010, crashed this afternoon during a downhill training session in Schladming today.

Yesterday, Chemmy said her leg was holding up, but her fitness needed work after finishing 24th in the Super G. She added: “The day had so much potential but racing conditions were brutal, entering the start hut for run at 4pm was tough.”

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