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Vonn's husband: "It was like a big blow to her Olympic dreams"

Thomas Vonn is not only Lindsey Vonn's husband - he married the former Lindsey Kildow in 2007 - but he's also a former elite ski racer who reached the Olympics in 2002. He is well-acquainted with the injury his wife suffered in training last week, a condition ski racers refer to as "shin-bang," which leaves the leg badly bruised after it collides with the ski boot in a crash.

That doesn't mean, though, that he knows what will happen as Lindsey Vonn tries to deal with the pain of her injury in the next few days leading up to her first scheduled event, Sunday's super combined.

"Do I think she'll miss the whole Olympics? No, I don't," Thomas Vonn said by phone Wednesday evening. "But as far as whether she'll be able to do the training tomorrow or be ready for the super combined, I truly don't know. ... I honestly can't tell you if she'll be able to do it."

Thomas Vonn said the worst moments for Lindsey came on Friday and Saturday - a few days after her Feb. 2 crash while training for slalom in Austria. Lindsey Vonn tested the injury by putting her ski boot on her tender right leg.

"Last week, she was pretty sad, to be honest," Thomas Vonn said. "It was like every time she was trying it on, it was like a big blow to her Olympic dreams. It bummed her out for like a day each time. The third time, she didn't even want to try it, and I had to be like, 'No, you have to test it.'"

The third test came Monday evening, and Thomas Vonn said there was some improvement. "I could see it in her face," he said. "There was some hope. It actually had gotten better, where the other times it was just the same."

Historically, Lindsey Vonn has a high threshold for pain; she raced in the Olympic downhill in 2006 two days after suffering a horrific crash that left her with a badly bruised pelvis and back. This, though, is different, Thomas Vonn said, because of the force placed on the shin when a ski racer makes a turn.

"She'll deal with whatever she has to," Thomas Vonn said. "It's just a question of if it's even possible because of how sharp the pain is. There's so many different kinds of pain, and you can have such a high, sharp pain that it just debilitates the whole leg. You just can't do it. A lot of the other injuries she's had - like her hand at Christmas - she can ski with, but she doesn't have to put 500 pounds of force on it. It just has to be her pole strapped into a hand.

"This is such a critical point, the shin in your ski boot, there's no place else that the force is really going. It's all right there. It's not the kind of pain you can just kind of grunt through."

By Barry Svrluga  |  February 10, 2010; 9:32 PM ET
Categories:  Lindsey Vonn , Skiing , Vancouver 2010  
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