Photo: Tim Clayton - Corbis/Getty Images
Lindsey Vonn, the U.S. Olympic ski racer, announced she will be retiring from the sport. In an emotional Instagram post on Friday, Vonn revealed that her body is now “broken beyond repair” because of injuries sustained during crashes.
“It’s been an emotional 2 weeks making the hardest decision of my life, but I have accepted that I cannot continue ski racing,” Vonn, 34, wrote in a caption that accompanied a series of pictures of her winning medals, as well as a picture of her injured cartilage. She stated that the World Championships next week in Sweden will be “the final races of my career.”
The Minnesota-born athlete had competed in four Olympics since 2002, during which she won several medals, including a gold. Throughout her career, Vonn has also won several World Championship medals and competed in a number of World Cup races. In her caption, she notes that despite the accolades she’s won over the course of her career, she has also suffered a number of injuries she has tried to keep secret. This past spring, for instance, a large portion of damaged cartilage was removed from her bone, and she also suffered a crash in November that left to significant knee injuries.
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.
Vonn went on to state on Instagram that “retiring isn’t what upsets” her; rather, “retiring without reaching my goal is what will stay with me forever.” However, Vonn notes that she has scored “82 World Cup wins, 20 World Cup titles, 3 Olympic medals, 7 World Championship medals” and knows that she can “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!” She wrapped up her post with a note encouraging her fans to keep fighting and never lose faith in their dreams.