BEAVER CREEK, Colo. (AP) — Lindsey Vonn squeezed in a little freeskiing on Thanksgiving morning, a step in the right direction for a return to racing after reinjuring her right knee in a recent training crash.
The reigning Olympic downhill champion posted on her Facebook page Thursday: “First day back on snow since my crash and it was awesome!” She also attached a picture of herself — grinning — on an empty slope in Vail.
Although she’s skipping the races in Beaver Creek this weekend, the 29-year-old Vonn hasn’t ruled out a return to competition in Lake Louise, Alberta, next week. Good friend and rival Maria Hoefl-Riesch of Germany told The Associated Press on Thursday after a downhill training run that the two are planning to travel together to Lake Louise on Monday.
“She’s really positive,” said Hoefl-Riesch, who spent some time with Vonn earlier in the week. “I’m looking forward to seeing her back on skis and finally back racing.
“If she feels well and has no pain and no unstable feeling, I think she’s strong enough in her head to ski 100 percent.”
Vonn had a training mishap in Copper Mountain nine days ago and partially tore a reconstructed ligament in her right knee. At the time on Facebook, she called it a “temporary setback” and that “nothing will keep me from picking myself back up and continuing to fight for my dreams.”
The Sochi Olympics are in February. Vonn hasn’t raced since tearing ligaments in her right knee during a high-speed accident at the world championships in February. She was well ahead of schedule for a World Cup return — with her first competition scheduled to be this weekend in Beaver Creek — before her crash at the U.S. speed center in Copper.