Speed queen Vonn to re­tire at end of sea­son

Tehran Times - - SPORTS -

Lind­sey Vonn, widely re­garded as the great­est fe­male ski racer of all-time, will re­tire from com­pe­ti­tion fol­low­ing the 2018-19 sea­son even if she fails to break the record for World Cup wins, the Amer­i­can said on Thurs­day.

The 33-year-old holds the women’s record of 82 World Cup wins and trails only Swedish great Inge­mar Sten­mark’s long-stand­ing mark of 86.

“This is go­ing to be my last sea­son. Def­i­nitely re­tir­ing af­ter this year,” Vonn said in New York while mod­er­at­ing a panel on small busi­nesses.

“If I could break the record that would be amaz­ing, if I can’t it has been a great ride and I am still the most suc­cess­ful fe­male and I still think that’s some­thing to be re­ally proud of.

“So we’ll just see what hap­pens this year.”

Vonn, who in 2015 founded the ed­u­ca­tion-fo­cused Lind­sey Vonn Foun­da­tion, said she would turn her at­ten­tion to launch­ing her own busi­ness when she hangs up her skis.

“My ex­pe­ri­ences on the slopes have helped shape me into who I am to­day,” she said on Twit­ter.

“I’m con­fi­dent those same lessons will pay off as I be­gin to ex­plore what’s next for my ca­reer.”

Since first tear­ing her ACL in 2007, Vonn has suf­fered fre­quent knee lig­a­ment in­juries as well as bro­ken bones. She missed the 2014 Sochi Games due to a se­ri­ous knee in­jury which she has been man­ag­ing ever since.

The Min­nesota-born skier had said at the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics that she would not quit un­til beat­ing Sten­mark’s record.

“I am hop­ing that is just one sea­son. I am not go­ing to quit un­til I get that record, that is for sure, no mat­ter how much pain I am in,” Vonn said in Fe­bru­ary.

“But I re­ally hope it only takes one more sea­son be­cause it would be dif­fi­cult for me to con­tinue on af­ter that.”

U.S. Ski & Snow­board Pres­i­dent and CEO Tiger Shaw hailed Vonn as an icon of world sport.

“The news to­day that the forth­com­ing sea­son will be Lind­sey’s last is to be cel­e­brated,” Shaw said.

“We all have a chance to watch an in­cred­i­ble ath­lete end her glit­ter­ing com­pet­i­tive ski rac­ing ca­reer by writ­ing a record break­ing new chap­ter. That is an ap­pro­pri­ate way to pay homage to this chap­ter of Lind­sey’s life.”

Vonn, who be­came the old­est women’s alpine skier to win an Olympic medal when she picked up a down­hill bronze in South Korea ear­lier this year, has also stated her de­sire to test her­self against her male coun­ter­parts.

Vonn, who be­gan ski­ing at the age of three and started rac­ing at seven, picked up her first Olympic medal when she won gold at the 2010 Van­cou­ver Games.

Vonn’s fi­nal sea­son will kick off in Lake Louise in late Novem­ber.

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