Too much pain: Lindsey Vonn considering immediate retirement 

The Olympic gold medallist is plagued by knee pain following her return to competition

Lindsey Vonn is considering imminent retirement.

"There's only so much I can handle and I might have reached my maximum" - Lindsey Vonn to Associated Press

The American alpine skiing star who had earlier announced she would retire in December, is now thinking of ending her racing career immediately.

The 34-year-old experiencing severe pain in her knees which saw her failing to finish the World Cup Super G race in Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy on Sunday.

The American was in contention for a podium spot until she ran off the course because she could not apply the necessary pressure to get back on course. She subsequently missed the next gate.

Lindsey Vonn in action during the Super G in Cortina d'Ampezzo 2019
Lindsey Vonn in action during the Super G in Cortina d'Ampezzo 2019Lindsey Vonn in action during the Super G in Cortina d'Ampezzo 2019

In an interview with Swiss TV, Vonn said “now it’s time to listen to my body and it’s time to say goodbye."

"But I'm emotional right now. I have to really think clearly about that. It's not a decision I make lightly or quickly." - Lindsey Vonn to Associated Press

The Vancouver 2010 Olympic downhill champion had returned this weekend from her latest injury for her first start in 10 months. Her best result in three races was ninth in the downhill.

Lindsey Vonn in action during the World Cup Women's Downhill in Cortina d'Ampezzo Italy
Lindsey Vonn in action during the World Cup Women's Downhill in Cortina d'Ampezzo ItalyLindsey Vonn in action during the World Cup Women's Downhill in Cortina d'Ampezzo Italy

Vonn’s most recent injury was to her left knee which she sprained while training in November.

Her right knee is permanently damaged from previous crashes forcing her to race with braces on both knees.

"I've had four surgeries on my right knee. I've got no LCL (lateral collateral ligament) on my left knee. I've got two braces on. There's only so much I can handle and I might have reached my maximum." Vonn to Associated Press

Cortina has been a special place for Vonn.

She holds the record for most number of wins here, with 12 victories.

It was also where she achieved the first podium result of her career back in 2004 and where she broke the all-time women's World Cup record with victory No. 63 in 2015.

Could Cortina also be the American's final race?

"I'm not sure. I've got to take a couple days' time and really think about things." - Lindsey Vonn to Associated Press

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