Superstar American skier Lindsey Vonn – a four-time world champion and the first American to win gold in the women’s downhill event – will not participate in the Sochi Olympics next month.
Vonn’s decision – which was expected – is due to ongoing complications from a series of knee injuries that began with this crash at the 2013 World Championships in Austria.
“I am devastated to announce that I will not be able to compete in Sochi,” Vonn said in a statement. “I did everything I possibly could to somehow get strong enough to overcome having no ACL but the reality has sunk in that my knee is just too unstable to compete at this level. I’m having surgery soon so that I can be ready for the World Championships at home in Vail next February. On a positive note, this means there will be an additional spot so that one of my teammates can go for gold. Thank you all so much for all of the love and support. I will be cheering for all of the Olympians and especially team USA!”
Vonn’s announcement is a major blow to NBC, which is televising the 2014 games and was hoping to capitalize not only on her hotness – but the fact she was attempting to bounce back from a catastrophic knee injury.
Guess the network executives will have to gin up some other human interest drama now …