Lindsey Vonn isn't finished yet

Decorated skier competing has another shot at the podium in the combined event

Lindsey Vonn isn't finished yet
Bronze medallist Lindsey Vonn of the United States celebrates during the medal ceremony for the women downhill on Day 12 of the 2018 Winter Olympic Games. © Getty Images

By Wendy-Ann Clarke, CBC Sports

American ski star Lindsey Vonn finished the women's downhill competition in Pyeongchang with a bronze medal around her neck and her emotions on her sleeve.

The tearful 33-year-old took the podium on Day 12 alongside her friend and gold medallist Sofia Goccia of Italy, and Silver medallist Ragnhild Mowinckel of Norway.

With a storied career marked by almost as much success as injury, the American made history becoming the oldest alpine women's medallist of all time. Competing in what she says will be her final Olympic Games, Vonn is currently sitting in first place in the combined event which could put her on the podium a second time at these Games. 

After winning the downhill in Vancouver 2010, Vonn was forced to sit out of the 2014 Sochi Games due to knee trouble. With all the physical ups and downs of the past eight years, for her, being back on the podium in South Korea is "as good as gold."  

After all of the horrific crashes and all of the surgeries, I took my tears of pain and turned them into tears of pure joy. It took me 8 years but i fought my way back and today bronze feels like gold. Congrats to the real 🥇🥈medalist @iamsofiagoggia And @ragmow ❤️I need to say thank you to everyone who has gotten me to this point; my family, friends, coaches, trainers, doctors, therapists and my fans. I am here because of your support! And I so proud to be standing together with all of my amazing teammates. I am humbled to have raced with all of you @lalalaurenne @staceycookusa @breezyjohnsonski @thealigator @aliweather_ @jacquelinewiles ❤️THANK YOU🙏🏻....gonna try to stop crying now 🙈 #nevergiveup

A post shared by L I N D S E Y • V O N N (@lindseyvonn) on

Going head to head with American teammate Mikaela Shiffrin in the combined; which consists of one run of downhill, followed by one run of slalom, she looked in incredible form, bettering her bronze medal winning downhill time by more than three tenths of a second. She will run the slalom portion on Thursday at 1:00 a.m. ET. 

With emotions running high on Wednesday, she savoured her bronze medal performance as if it were the last of her career.

"I'm on the Olympic podium for probably the last time and I'm so grateful," the tearful Vonn told CBC in an interview in Pyeongchang. "I've had so many injuries and everyone counted me out. Everyone said I was washed up and I should just quit. I didn't ... It just proves that you can never give up."

Vonn has also carried with her the memory of who she says was her greatest fan and supporter— Her grandfather, who passed away in November.

I miss him so much 😭

A post shared by L I N D S E Y • V O N N (@lindseyvonn) on

Widely regarded as the greatest women's alpine skier in history, Vonn has a record 81 World Cup victories. She is expected to continue to pursue the all-time record of 86 wins held by Ingemar Stenmark of Sweden.