December 1, 2018 / 6:39 AM / 13 days ago

Alpine skiing: Vonn to delay retirement for one race next season

(Reuters) - Lindsey Vonn will probably delay her retirement to compete at next year’s World Cup stop at Lake Louise in the Canadian Rockies, the Olympic alpine skiing champion said on Friday.

FILE PHOTO: Medals Ceremony - Alpine Skiing - Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics - Women's Downhill - Medals Plaza - Pyeongchang, South Korea - February 21, 2018 - Bronze medalist Lindsey Vonn of the U.S. on the podium. REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji/File Photo

Vonn had planned to retire at the end of the 2018-19 season, but her plans have changed after she injured herself in a high-speed crash last week.

The fall will keep the American out of the season-opening downhill this weekend at Lake Louise, where she has enjoyed more success than at any other venue on the World Cup circuit.

“I’ve announced already I’m retiring after this World Cup season, so to miss my favorite stop on the tour is devastating,” she said in a YouTube video.

“I’m probably going to have to come back next year and just race Lake Louise.”

Vonn, 34, said she hyper-extended a knee, sprained a ligament and suffered a bone bruise in her fall.

“I’m going to be back shortly, probably be able to race in a few weeks,” said Vonn, whose 82 career World Cup victories leaves her four short of the all-time record held by Ingemar Stenmark of Sweden.

“Hopefully I’ll break the record this season and I don’t even have to think about it next year in Lake Louise ... but whether I break the World Cup record or not, it doesn’t matter.

“That really has nothing to do with me wanting to race in Lake Louise. The whole point of having one last season is to have one last season, to race in every single race one last time.”

Vonn has a special affection for Canada. She won the downhill at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics and has 18 career wins at Lake Louise.

Vonn said her latest injury had been tough to deal with emotionally.

“I don’t have a lot of fight left in me. I’ve had a lot of injuries, a lot of setbacks but I’m also not a quitter.”

Reporting by Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina, editing by Ed Osmond/Peter Rutherford

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