U.S. Ski Team member Lindsey Vonn announced Tuesday morning on her Facebook page that she will not compete next month at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Vonn, 29, tried a comeback from ACL surgery, but she injured the knee again in Val d'Isere, France on Dec. 21.
"I am devastated to announce that I will not be able to compete in Sochi. I did everything I possibly could to somehow get strong enough to overcome having no ACL but the reality has sunk in that my knee is just too unstable to compete at this level," Vonn posted on Facebook.
"I'm having surgery soon so that I can be ready for the World Championships at home in Vail next February," she added. "On a positive note, this means there will be an additional spot so that one of my teammates can go for gold. 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!"
In a statement released by the U.S. Ski Team, Bill Marolt, president and CEO of the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association, said, "In looking ahead, I have every ounce of confidence that Lindsey will be in the starting gate next World Cup season ready to compete. She knows the hard work it takes to get to the top and still has significant goals to achieve in what has been an incredible career.
"While Lindsey won’t be in Sochi, we have a strong team that is well prepared to challenge. The women’s speed team is experienced with five athletes who have achieved World Cup podiums and a seasoned veteran in Julia Mancuso who has won three Olympic medals in her career. Now is the time for those athletes to step up towards our Best in the World vision."
With Vonn out of the Sochi Olympics, much of the U.S. attention is likely to turn to Mikaela Shiffrin, who recently won a World Cup slalom event in Bormio, Italy. Shiffrin, 18, has already made 13 World Cup podiums (top-three finishes), an American record for her age.