Lindsey Vonn’s days on the slopes are coming to an end. The alpine ski racer announced on Friday, February 1, that she will retire after competing in the upcoming world championships in Åre, Sweden.
“The past two weeks have been some of the most emotionally challenging days of my life. I am struggling with the reality of what my body is telling me versus what my mind and heart believe I’m capable of. The unfortunate reality is my mind and body are not on the same page,” Vonn, 34, wrote in a lengthy statement posted on her Facebook page. “After many sleepless nights, I have finally accepted that I cannot continue ski racing. I will compete at the World Championships in Downhill and Super-G next week in Åre, Sweden and they will be the final races of my career.”
The World Cup champion noted that she has “had more injuries and surgeries than I care to admit” in recent years, which is one of the reasons she has decided to hang up her ski boots. She revealed that she secretly “underwent surgery this past spring” after injuring her knee in a 2018 training crash in Lake Louise, Alberta, and battling other wounds.
“Despite extensive therapy, training and a knee brace, I am not able make the turns necessary to compete the way I know I can,” she continued. “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.”
Lindsey, who was married to Olympian Thomas Vonn from 2007 to 2013 and later dated golfer Tiger Woods, hopes to be able to ski again one day when she has children. She also explained that she is not upset about retiring, but she does wish that she could have reached her goals.
“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!” she wrote. “So please let my story be of comebacks, victories and even injuries, but do not tell my story as one of failures or unreached goals.”
The athlete ended her message by urging people to “never give up,” noting that she will do the same as she starts “a new chapter.” She added, “Thank you for the amazing years, for supporting me through thick and thin, and for making my job so fun. Can’t wait to see some of you in the finish in Are where I will give it my all one last time.”
Lindsey’s final events are scheduled for Tuesday, February 5, and Sunday, February 10.