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Lindsey Vonn's plans for Sochi Olympics gold are all downhill

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Golden girl Lindsey Vonn announced today that her quest for Sochi Olympics glory has ended.

The four-time World Cup overall champion withdrew from this critical Olympics qualifying season due to a recent ACL re-injury she had difficulty recovering from.

"I did everything I possibly could to somehow get strong enough to overcome having no ACL (anterior cruciate ligament), but the reality has sunk in that my knee is just too unstable to compete at this level,” said Vonn.

Vonn has often competed through injury during her career. At both the Torino 2006 and Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics, she battled through injuries to compete, even winning the gold in the downhill four years ago despite unbearable shin splints.

However, the aging 29-year-old could not overcome the pain and weakness sustained in a FIS World Cup alpine downhill event in Val D’Isere, France on December 21 where she re-aggravated an already repaired ACL.

In the aftermath of her ACL and MCL reconstructive surgery in February, following a head-over-heals fall at the FIS World Championships, she progressed through a rapid rest, recovery, and rehabilitation run leading up to her late summer training in Chile.

Testing her strength and agility further, she competed in her first FIS World Cup event in early December at Lake Louise, Canada where she finished 11th and 40th in two downhill events, followed by a promising fifth in the super-G.

Yet, her December injury forced her to regroup, skipping world cup events while recuperating over the holidays. While she and her coaches remained hopeful, she had to pull the plug.

Bill Marolt, president of the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association, said, “She knows the hard work it takes to get to the top. While Lindsey won't be in Sochi, we have a strong team that is well prepared to challenge.”

Lindsey echoed Marolt’s sentiments about her teammates, “"Thank you all so much for all of the love and support. I will be cheering for all of the Olympians and especially Team USA!"

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