ARE, Sweden (AP) — Lindsey Vonn walked off together with her profession haul of medals in her proper hand, the gold, silver and bronze clinking collectively nearly weighing her down.

Or was it the bulging knee braces and steel assist rods inside her huge array of damaged bones?


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No matter it was, the sound was a reminder of what Vonn has come to represent — an athlete who battled again from one main damage after one other all through her profession to win extra ski races than some other lady.

Add yet another — last — comeback to the listing.

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5 days after crashing in super-G — a fall that knocked the wind out of her and left her with a black eye and a bruised rib — and three months after tearing a ligament in her left knee, Vonn received the bronze medal on the planet championship downhill Sunday within the last race of her profession.

She’s shed so many tears that there are none left — identical to she now not has any cartilage in her knees.

“I’m actually tapped out, I can’t cry anymore,” Vonn stated. “I wish to cry however it’s dry. … It’s not a simple factor to really feel your bones hitting collectively and proceed to push by means of it.

Bronze medalist Lindsey Vonn of the U.S. poses with medals throughout a information convention following the Alpine World Ski Championships in Are, Sweden on Feb. 10, 2019.

REUTERS/Denis Balibouse

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“After all I’m sore. Even earlier than the crash I used to be sore. So I’m simply sore on high of sore. My neck is killing me,” Vonn stated. “However on the finish of the day nobody cares if my neck hurts; they solely care if I win. … I knew that I used to be able to pushing by means of the ache one final time and I did that. … Each athlete has their very own obstacles and I confronted mine head on right this moment and I conquered them.”

Vonn had been planning on retiring in December however she lately moved up her plans on account of persistent ache in each of her surgically repaired knees. Then got here the super-G crash, when she straddled a gate in midair, flew face first down the mountain and slammed into the protection nets.

READ MORE: Tearful Lindsey Vonn vows to win Olympic Alpine gold for late grandfather

“She has been enterprise as typical this entire week, saying I’m racing to win,” Karin Kildow, Vonn’s sister, instructed The Related Press. “I used to be like, ‘Simply perhaps make it down and perhaps arise.’ However she was like, ‘No, I’m going full out’. She was undoubtedly within the mindset to push it and she or he actually did.”

It’s a medal that brings Vonn full circle: the American’s two silvers on the 2007 worlds on the identical course in Are have been the primary two main championship medals of her profession.

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“I used to be weighing in my thoughts the danger of placing all of it on the market, crashing and getting injured once more, versus ending the place I wished to,” Vonn stated. “It was an inside battle.”

As quickly as she exited the end space, Vonn embraced Swedish nice Ingemar Stenmark, the one skier to win extra World Cup races than she did — 86 to 82.

“I mainly begged him to come back right here by way of textual content, in all caps, many exclamation factors,” Vonn stated. “He’s an icon and a legend in our sport and he doesn’t actually just like the highlight however he deserves to have it. I used to be simply so grateful that he was there. Truthfully, it’s an ideal ending to my profession.”

READ MORE: Vonn crashes at women’s World Cup downhill race in Lake Louise

The third skier on the course, Vonn had a giant smile on her face when she got here down with the quickest run to that time. She waved and bowed to the group.

Finally, Ilka Stuhec of Slovenia beat Vonn and took gold, defending her title from the 2017 worlds. Stuhec completed 0.23 seconds forward of silver medalist Corinne Suter of Switzerland and 0.49 forward of Vonn.


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“Not many have been relying on (Vonn) to get the medal in her final race, which makes it much more particular,” Stuhec stated. “She has received all the things.”

Vonn turned the primary feminine skier to win medals at six totally different world championships. It’s additionally her fifth downhill medal at a worlds, matching the file established by Annemarie Moser-Proell and Christel Cranz.

READ MORE: American Lindsey Vonn completes sweep at Lake Louise with super-G win

“Thank You Lindsey: Eternally A Star,” learn one signal positioned by the facet of the course.

4 U.S. flags have been within the grandstand when Vonn got here down and there have been fairly a number of cheers when she began her run sporting a go well with with blue-and-yellow trim — Sweden’s colors — to honour Stenmark.

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“She actually deserves this sendoff from her nice profession,” stated Eleanor Bodin, a 21-year-old fan from Sweden who was holding up an indication saying “Thank You Lindsey.”

“She has been my favorite skier since 2008 once I noticed her profitable on tv,” Bodin stated. “I used to be a bit of woman sitting on the couch. I simply thought what an awesome skier and inspiration.”

READ MORE: Lindsey Vonn carried off the mountain after crash in super-G

At 34, Vonn eclipsed her personal file from two years in the past for oldest lady to win a medal at a worlds.

Fog and wind compelled organizers to shorten the course to the second reserve begin, which favoured Vonn as a result of it diminished the pressure on her knees.

Now she will lastly let her physique heel and transfer onto the following part of her life — presumably appearing, having kids, beginning a enterprise .

“I’m trying ahead to simply chilling out a bit and recovering all the things, together with my thoughts,” Vonn stated. “It’s been rather a lot to course of.

“The good factor is that, in the true world I’m truly fairly younger. I’ve felt actually previous for a very long time, as a result of I’m racing with ladies which might be like 15 years youthful than me. So now, in the true world, I’m regular. Thirty is the brand new 20 so I’m tremendous younger. I’ve obtained rather a lot to look ahead to.”




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