ARE, Sweden — Upload yet one more — ultimate — comeback to Lindsey Vonn’s checklist of occupation accomplishments.
5 days after crashing in super-G — a fall that knocked the wind out of her and left her with a black eye and a bruised rib — and 3 months after tearing a ligament in her left knee, Vonn gained the bronze medal on the earth championship downhill Sunday within the ultimate race of her occupation.
“I’m actually tapped out — I will be able to’t cry anymore,” Vonn stated. “I wish to cry, nevertheless it’s dry. It’s now not a very easy factor to really feel your bones hitting in combination and proceed to push thru it.”
She persevered: “In fact I’m sore. Even prior to the crash, I used to be sore. So I’m simply sore on best of sore. My neck is killing me. However on the finish of the day, nobody cares if my neck hurts. They simply care if I win.”
Vonn were making plans on ready till December to retire, however she moved up her plans on account of power ache in either one of her surgically repaired knees. Then got here the super-G crash, when she straddled a gate in midair, flew face first down the mountain and slammed into the security nets.
“She has been trade as standard this entire week, pronouncing, ‘I’m racing to win,’” stated Karin Kildow, Vonn’s sister. “I used to be like, ‘Simply perhaps make it down and perhaps rise up.’ However she was once like, ‘No, I’m going complete out.’ She was once surely within the frame of mind to push it, and she or he in point of fact did.”
This can be a medal that brings Vonn complete circle. Her two silvers on the 2007 worlds at the identical path in Sweden have been the primary two main championship medals of her occupation.
“I used to be weighing in my thoughts the chance of hanging all of it available in the market, crashing and getting injured once more, versus completing the place I sought after to,” Vonn stated. “It was once an inner combat.”
Once she left the end house, Vonn embraced the Swedish nice Ingemar Stenmark, the one skier to have gained extra International Cup races than she did, 86 to 82.
“I mainly begged him to come back right here, by means of textual content, in all caps, many exclamation issues,” Vonn stated. “He’s an icon and a legend in our recreation, and he doesn’t in point of fact just like the highlight, however he merits to have it. I used to be simply so thankful that he was once there. In truth, it’s a really perfect finishing to my occupation.”
The 3rd skier at the path, Vonn had a large smile on her face when she got here down with the quickest run to that time. She waved and bowed to the group.
Sooner or later, Ilka Stuhec of Slovenia beat Vonn and took gold, protecting her name from the 2017 worlds. Stuhec completed zero.23 of a 2d forward of the silver medalist, Corinne Suter of Switzerland, and zero.49 forward of Vonn.
“No longer many have been depending on her to get the medal in her ultimate race, which makes it much more particular,” Stuhec stated of Vonn. “She has gained the whole lot.”
Vonn was the primary feminine skier to win medals at six international championships. This was once additionally her 5th downhill medal at a global meet, matching the file established through Annemarie Moser-Proell and Christel Cranz.
“Thank You Lindsey: Without end A Famous person,” learn one signal situated through the facet of the path.
4 United States flags have been within the grandstand when Vonn got here down, and there have been somewhat a couple of cheers when she began her run dressed in a swimsuit with blue-and-yellow trim — Sweden’s colours — to honor Stenmark.
“She in point of fact merits this send-off from her nice occupation,” stated Eleanor Bodin, a 21-year-old fan from Sweden who was once maintaining up an indication pronouncing “Thank You Lindsey.”
“She has been my favourite skier since 2008, after I noticed her profitable on tv,” Bodin stated. “I used to be a bit lady sitting at the settee. I simply concept, What a super skier and inspiration.”
At 34, Vonn eclipsed her personal file from two years in the past for oldest lady to win a medal at a global meet.
Fog and wind led organizers to shorten the path to the second one reserve get started, which preferred Vonn as it decreased the tension on her knees.
Now she will in spite of everything let her frame heal and will transfer onto the following section of her existence — perhaps appearing, having kids, beginning a trade.
“I’m taking a look ahead to simply chilling out slightly and getting better the whole lot, together with my thoughts,” Vonn stated. “It’s been so much to procedure.
“The good factor is that, in the true international, I’m in truth lovely younger. I’ve felt in point of fact outdated for a very long time, as a result of I’m racing with women which can be, like, 15 years more youthful than me. So now, in the true international, I’m standard. Thirty is the brand new 20, so I’m tremendous younger. I’ve were given so much to look ahead to.”