Lindsey Vonn to retire this month after one last World Championships

"I have accepted that I cannot continue ski racing", the most successful female skier said on social media.

Lindsey Vonn has announced that she will compete in just one more event before retiring from skiing.

The three-time Olympic medallist will take to the slopes for the final time at the 2019 alpine World Championships in Are, Sweden. The American will take part in the super G (5 February) and downhill (10 February), before hanging up her skis.

"They will be the final races of my career. I have accepted I cannot continue ski racing" the 34-year-old said on her social media accounts as she announced "the hardest decision of my life".

View this post on Instagram

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

Multiple Injuries

The most successful female skier of all time has been struggling with a succession of injuries for more than a year.

Vonn won bronze at PyeongChang 2018, before announcing that she would retire at the end of the 2018/2019 season.

When she was forced to miss the Lake Louise event in November 2018 due to injury, she decided to try and continue until the same race at the end of 2019.

"My body is broken beyond repair and it isn't letting me have the final season I dreamed of" she admitted, mentioning a torn ligament and three fractures suffered after a training crash in Copper Mountain back in November.

But her return to competition in January was blighted by knee pain, and Vonn contemplated retiring with immediate effect after failing to finish the super G event in Cortina d'Ampezzo in Italy.

The 'speed queen' skipped the World Cup races in Garmisch, Germany, to heal up.

She was included in the 13-athlete U.S. squad for the world championships in Are, which Vonn has now confirmed will be the final event of her record-breaking career.

"My body is screaming at me to STOP and it's time for me to listen", Lindsey Vonn

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