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Lindsey Vonn, on road to recovery, is critical of ski officials

February 23, 2013|By Dan Loumena
  • Lindsey Vonn during her ill-fated run in the super-giant slalom at the world championships this month in Schladming, Austria.
Lindsey Vonn during her ill-fated run in the super-giant slalom at the world… (Alexander Hassenstein…)

Lindsey Vonn, who might be known as much now for dating Tiger Woods as her legendary World Cup and Olympic feats, was critical of ski officials after a devastating knee injury.

Vonn tore two knee ligaments and broke a bone in her leg Feb. 5 during a super-giant slalom race at the world championships in Schladming, Austria. During a conference call Friday, Vonn said loose snow -- an unsafe condition in downhill racing -- was "100% the reason why I crashed."

She is currently recovering in Vail, Colo., after surgery to repair the anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments in her right knee. In retrospect, she blames officials for allowing the race to be contested in unsafe conditions.

“I do not think the jury made the right call,” said Vonn, a four-time World Cup overall champion and owner of one gold and one bronze medal from the 2010 Vancouver Games, of running the super-G race that had been delayed 3 1/2 hours. “It was definitely not safe to run with that fog.”

Shortly after her crash, race director Atle Skaardal said that he didn't see any outside factors playing a role in Vonn's accident.

“I was definitely disappointed they decided to run the race,” Vonn said. “I feel like that loose snow was 100% the reason why I crashed.”

Only 36 of the 59 skiers made runs before deteriorating conditions caused organizers to halt the race.

Vonn should be in peak racing condition for the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, Russia. The fact she's recovered from injuries before should help ease anxiety about a return.

“I'm channeling most of my energy into workouts,” she said. “It's a change of pace. But it's hard for me to sit around. I feel pretty helpless sometimes. Going to the gym and staying active, that makes me feel a lot better.”

And the Tiger Woods dating rumors? That's off-limits for now.

“I'm only two weeks out from the worst injury I've had in my career,” Vonn said. “At this point, I'm not going to talk about my personal life.”

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