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World Cup Alpine Skier, Lindsey Vonn to Retire

Lindsey Vonn in 2015. She took 3rd place in the Super G at the 2015 Alpine World Ski Championships in Beaver Creek Colorado. Lindsey Vonn in 2015. She took 3rd place in the Super G at the 2015 Alpine World Ski Championships in Beaver Creek Colorado. |  Photo: USSANetwork

ANDREW DAMPF AP Sports Writer
Updated: February 01, 2019 10:20 AM

Lindsey Vonn says she will retire from ski racing after this month's world championships in Sweden.
    
The women's all-time leader in World Cup wins had been planning to retire in December but changed her plans because of persistent pain in both of her knees, which she fully realized after failing to finish a race in Italy last month.
    
Writing on Instagram, Vonn says "it's been an emotional 2 weeks making the hardest decision of my life, but I have accepted that I cannot continue ski racing. I will compete at the World Championships in Downhill and SG (super-G) next week in Are, Sweden and they will be the final races of my career."
    
The worlds open with the women's super-G on Tuesday. The women's downhill is scheduled for Feb. 10.
    

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It’s been an emotional 2 weeks making the hardest decision of my life, but I have accepted that I cannot continue ski racing. I will compete at the World Championships in Downhill and SG next week in Åre, Sweden and they will be the final races of my career. I have always pushed the limits of ski racing and it has allowed me to have amazing success but also dramatic crashes. I have never wanted the storyline of my career to be about injuries and because of that I decided not to tell anyone that I underwent surgery this past spring. A large portion of cartilage that had delaminated from my bone was removed. My crash in Lake Louise last year was much more painful than I let on, but I continued to race because I wanted to win a medal in the Olympics for my late grandfather. Again, I rehabbed my way back this summer and I felt better than I had in a long time. Then I crashed in Copper this November and injured my left knee, tearing my LCL plus sustaining 3 fractures. Despite extensive therapy, training and a knee brace, I am not able make the turns necessary to compete the way I know I can. 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. Honestly, retiring isn’t what upsets me. Retiring without reaching my goal is what will stay with me forever. However, I can look back at 82 World Cup wins, 20 World Cup titles, 3 Olympic medals, 7 World Championship medals and 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! I always say, “Never give up!” So to all the the kids out there, to my fans who have sent me messages of encouragement to keep going… I need to tell you that I’m not giving up! I’m just starting a new chapter. Don’t lose faith in your dreams, keep fighting for what you love, and if you always give everything you have you’ll be happy no matter what the outcome. Thank you for the amazing years, for always supporting me, and for making my job so fun. Can’t wait to see some of you in the finish in Åre where I will give it my all one last time. Love always, Lindsey

A post shared by L I N D S E Y • V O N N (@lindseyvonn) on

Vonn says "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."
    
More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
    
Andrew Dampf on Twitter: www.twitter.com/AndrewDampf
 

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ANDREW DAMPF AP Sports Writer

Copyright 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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