Alpine Skiing

The Associated Press - Wednesday Dec. 4, 2013 18:18 ET

Lindsey Vonn undecided on racing after Lake Louise training run

U.S. ski star dealing with knee injury

vonn-lindsey-cbc-131204
Lindsey Vonn speaks to CBC Sports ski analyst Kerrin-Lee Gartner after Wednesday's session. (Emma McLagan/CBC Sports)
To play the video you must download our Olympic App using the link belowDownload ApporPlay Video in App

Ten months since she last competed, Lindsey Vonn returned to a World Cup course for downhill training Wednesday and said afterward her surgically repaired right knee felt "stable."

Vonn said she will decide after the training run scheduled for Thursday whether to race this week for the first time since a high-speed crash at the world championships in February tore two ligaments in her knee and broke a bone in her lower leg.

There are downhills slated for Friday and Saturday, and a super-G on Sunday at a mountain where Vonn has earned 14 of her 59 career World Cup race wins. That includes three-victory sweeps in both 2011 and 2012.

"It was my first run, so I was, of course, a little bit nervous," the four-time overall World Cup champion and 2010 Olympic downhill gold medalist said.

"First training run. First kind of real race situation since February," Vonn added. "So it's been a long time, and I'm really happy."

As for her knee, the one in which she partially re-tore one of those reconstructed ligaments in a fall last month during practice?

"Knee feels good. Feels stable," Vonn said. "And, you know, just going to play it by ear tomorrow and make a decision on the race."

The biggest factor for Friday will be making sure there's no swelling in her right knee so it won't affect her thigh's ability to react and "fire appropriately," Vonn said.

The temperature dropped below zero during training, and she sniffled occasionally as she spoke near the finish line.

The American covered the course in 1 minute, 59.53 seconds, the 22nd-fastest time among the 65 skiers who finished Wednesday.

Carolina Ruiz Castillo of Spain was fastest in training at 1:57.40, followed by past overall World Cup champions Maria Hoefl-Riesch of Germany in 1:57.41, and Tina Maze of Slovenia in 1:58.06. Current overall World Cup leader Lara Gut of Switzerland was fifth, Stacey Cook of the U.S. was sixth, and Julia Mancuso of the U.S. was ninth.

What mattered to Vonn more than her time was that she was out there. She was quick out of the start, then lost time as she progressed down the slope in the Canadian Rockies.

Vonn said she "can't really put a percentage on" how hard she was trying to charge and repeatedly acknowledged feeling nervous about getting back on the World Cup scene.

"Just trying to stay focused, and focus on my knee," Vonn said, "and get my confidence back."

You can watch the first women's downhill on CBCSports.ca Friday at 2:30 p.m. ET. The next day's competition can be viewed on Saturday at 2:30 p.m. ET at CBCSports.ca and on CBC Television. 

Comments on this story are moderated. Comments will appear immediately but may be removed if they violate our Submission Guidelines. Comments are open and welcome for three days after the story is published. We reserve the right to close comments before then.

Submission Policy

Note: The CBC does not necessarily endorse any of the views posted. By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that the CBC has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Please note that comments are moderated and published according to our submission guidelines.