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Lindsey Vonn injured, doubtful for first event

The first major news of the Olympics comes even before the Olympics begin. Lindsey Vonn, the alpine skier who is expected to be the featured performer on the American team and perhaps the star of the Games, revealed Wednesday morning that she has an badly bruised shin that has affected her preparation for Vancouver and could prevent her participation in any of the five disciplines in which she is scheduled to compete.

"When I tried my boot on, I was just standing in the hotel room barely flexing forward and it was excruciatingly painful," Vonn said on NBC's "Today Show." "And I've got to try to ski downhill at 75-80 miles per hour with a lot of forces pushed up against my shin, and I don't honestly know if I'll be able to do it."

Vonn, 25, had been considered a medal contender in each of the five events, and she is a strong favorite in both the downill and the super-G. The first women's alpine event is Sunday, the combined, which adds the times from a downhill run and a slalom run.

Right now, Vonn's participation in that event appears doubtful. She said her doctor told her it "could take a couple weeks before it's completely healed."
"I honestly couldn't tell you," she said about her chances. "I feel okay now. But any time I'm in my boot, it's painful. I don't know. I've got to wait until the first training run on Thursday. I'm going to go up there. I'm going to put my skis on and see how it feels. I could not be doing the first training run. I don't know. I have to play it by ear and see how it fels and take it day by day and just keep doing therapy and hope it gets better."

Vonn's 2006 Olympics were marred by a spectacular crash in a training run for the downhill, one that left her with a badly bruised back and pelvis. She competed less than 48 hours after the accident, but had no true chance of being effective for the rest of the Games. She finished eighth in the downhill and did not medal, but showed she can deal with tremendous amounts of pain.

Asked how the injury to her right shin - a deep bruise suffered in training a week ago - she said: "I'm a lot less sure about this injury than I have been in the past."

Since the last Olympics, Vonn has twice won the prestigious World Cup overall championship, and she came to Vancouver with more hype than any American athlete. She has nine World Cup wins this season and again leads the overall standings. Now, her outlook in Vancouver has completely shifted.

"I won the last World Cup race," she said. "I felt perfectly healthy. I was happy. I was coming in with confidence. And now I have another injury. I've fought through injuries before. I'm not stranger to that. But it's going to be really hard. I just have to try to stay positive and do the best I can because that's all I can do."

We'll have more on this throughout the day.

By Barry Svrluga  |  February 10, 2010; 9:06 AM ET
Categories:  Lindsey Vonn , Skiing  
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First no snow and now this.

I hope Lindsey takes the needle.
That sounds bad, but anesthesia is ok if it is not going to exacerbate injury. So if this is really a bruise (no torn ligaments etc.), she should get it numbed up for the extra tight fit of racing ski boots.

Go for it Lindsey, we can't wait to watch you race!

Posted by: shrink2 | February 10, 2010 10:23 AM | Report abuse

What a self-effacing super-athlete. Go girl, go!!!

Posted by: harper-d | February 10, 2010 10:48 AM | Report abuse

I'm sorry to hear about Ms. Vonn's injury, but why take unnecessary drugs. No drug is completely safe.
There are braces/splints that can transfer the pressure from the ant part of the leg to the medial and lateral sides so she won't have pressure on the bruise.

Posted by: helalice | February 10, 2010 10:52 AM | Report abuse

helalice, go for it!
Try to send her or the team an email.

It would be so sad if a simple bruise (though of course swollen and therefore painful) that hurts when you put a ski boot on could separate her from her destiny.

Posted by: shrink2 | February 10, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Just got my Sports Illustrated yesterday and Lindsey Vonn was gracing the cover. Saddens me to say this but the SI cover jinx appears to be live and in effect. Why does anybody ever pose for this magazine before a competition?

Posted by: stevenyoung | February 10, 2010 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Wow, no one blaming Obama for this yet???

Posted by: kare1 | February 10, 2010 12:30 PM | Report abuse

Well, since 99.99% of the Tea Baggers are fat lazy pigs like their master Limbaugh, they're not usually drawn to the sports pages. But I suspect they'll blame the President for this too at some point.

Posted by: VeloStrummer | February 10, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

"...the SI cover jinx appears to be live and in effect."

So True

As Howlin' Wolf said, "Well I ain't superstitious, but a black cat just crossed my trail." A US woman ski star only comes around about once a decade. Posing for SI? What was she thinking?

Posted by: shrink2 | February 10, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Too bad. She's hot!!!

signed Shallow Hal

Posted by: billm32 | February 10, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse

what a cry baby.

if it hurts so much, maybe she should just stay home.

the american team can save a few $$$ in the process.

Posted by: AuthoritativeAuthoritarian | February 10, 2010 2:12 PM | Report abuse

The SI cover jinx rears its head, you betcha.

Posted by: mattintx | February 10, 2010 2:22 PM | Report abuse

This reminds me of the fantastic skating team of Tai Babilonia and Randy Gardner. They were expected to win the Gold but his injury prevented them to complete their routine.

I'm not a sports nut but I do realize how much these young people put into their sport and to be knocked out by an injury must be a real heart breaker for them.

Posted by: rcubedkc | February 10, 2010 2:25 PM | Report abuse

Wow, no one blaming Obama for this yet???

Posted by: kare1

No, but I'm blaming Bush...

Posted by: wolfcastle | February 10, 2010 2:34 PM | Report abuse

My wager is she misses no events.

Posted by: crumppie | February 10, 2010 2:49 PM | Report abuse

Was this injury before or after the bikini/feather boa swimsuit photos for Sports "Manipulated?" Today, it's only when women athletes take off their clothes does the true interest in their sports become obvious. Thankfully, no university supported her pursuit in this sport.

Posted by: glenlivet | February 10, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse

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