Lindsey Vonn Olympics

Lindsey Vonn Takes Home Olympic Gold In Women's Downhill

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Lindsey Vonn Gets The Gold

Neither rain nor snow nor having one good leg will keep Lindsey Vonn off that podium. A scant couple weeks after sustaining a shin injury during a training run, the American slopes star took home the gold in the women's downhill competition:

"I've worked so hard for this and to be able to get the gold medal is so awesome," she said. "I've given up everything for this. [...] I didn't quite know what to expect at the bottom but I knew I had to keep it together because that's where I lost the World Cup so I knew I had to keep it together. I'm just so grateful I made it down."

Fellow American Julia Mancuso took the silver medal; both women will hit the mountain again Thursday morning, at 9:30 a.m. Vancouver time, to compete in the super-combined downhill event.

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Lindsey Vonn: It's On

After yesterday's highly successful training run, injured USA skiing star Lindsey Vonn took today off to nurse her injured leg. That's all it is, though -- rest, not resignation. Vonn's husband has confirmed to the Associated Press that she's definitely racing:

Even though she was bothered by the shin, Monday's practice proved that "she knows her leg will hold up at those speeds, and that she can be fast even if it's painful," said Thomas Vonn, who serves as a coach and adviser to his wife.

Wednesday's women's downhill competition is scheduled for 11:00 a.m. Vancouver time, and will be Vonn's first outing in the 2010 Winter Games.

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Lindsey Vonn Passed First Full Training Session

Lindsey Vonn had positive news as she completed her first full slalom training session without an issue on Sunday. Slalom training is harder on the legs and knees so this test is positive for her chances for the Olympics. Here is what Vonn had to say about the session:

“I feel more confident now, Vonn added. “I feel like I’m getting into a more aggressive mindset. That’s what I need. I need to be in the start house and feel confident that I can trust my body and race aggressively. I’m starting to get that feeling back.”

Vonn’s first race is on Wednesday with the Downhill, with training runs for the event scheduled Monday.

MoreSB Nation’s full coverage of the Winter Olympics and complete 2010 Winter Olympics Medal Count Tracker

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Lindsey Vonn Takes Pain Killers, Skis For First Time Since Injury

On Thursday, still suffering from her right shin injury, Lindsey Vonn tweeted that she "took a bunch of pain killers and numbed my shin with some creams." She added that "warmup was still very painful but I think it was good enough to give it a shot in the training run." And give it a shot she did, even after fog and poor visibility (and teammate Stacey Cook's crash) canceled the women's training for the day. It wasn't enough to stop Vonn from clicking-in and testing her leg. The results were encouraging.

"I was happy to be back on snow today," said Vonn, who lives and trains in Vail, Colo. "My shin was still very painful, but I feel like the injury is finally progressing a bit. I am always disappointed when a training run is canceled, but in this situation I definitely welcome the extra day to heal."

Indeed, her husband, Thomas, called the cancellation "fantastic."

Thomas, who serves as Lindsey's coach and chief adviser, added that his wife still plans to ski all five events, saying, "She's never taken any races off the table. It's going to be a day to day: If she can do it, she's going to do it. But she's not pulling out of anything at this point, and it's looking better than it was yesterday."

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Lindsey Vonn's Injury: 'It's Gotten A Lot Better' But Still Uncertain For The Games

Lindsey Vonn has dealt with injuries her entire career. Not just simple injuries, though--sprained ankles, bruised knees, and the like--but freak accidents that would make you think she's comiscaly destined for the trainers table--she once split open her thumb on a champagne bottle while celebrating a big win, she badly bit her tongue while racing in Canada last  year, and there have been a host of other serious injuries that have been setbacks over the years. And now this.

On the eve of the Olympics, we find out she's badly injured her shin and might miss the biggest event of her entire life. Sports Illustrated's Tim Layden spoke to Lindsey yesterday, and started off simple:

When I spoke to Vonn by cell phone Wednesday morning ... all I could say for starters was: "What are we going to do with you?"

To which Vonn said, "I don't know. What ARE we going to do with me?"

[Trying not think bad thoughts]

He continued, speaking to her happily-married husband, Thomas Vonn, among others:

Vonn's husband/coach Thomas, told me Wednesday night, "What she had was shin bang that was so severe it was just short of the point where it breaks the shinbone."

[...]

"We've tried having her put the boot on three times,'' said Thomas Vonn. "The first two went really badly. Just getting into the boot was difficult and as soon as shoe got in, there was just debilitating pain. The third time was Monday night. And as soon as Lindsey put her foot into the boot, I could see that something that had changed. It had gotten better. It was still painful, and she couldn't have skied that day. But it was getting better.''

Lindsey talked the same way when I spoke to her in the morning. "It's gotten a lot better,'' she said. "For two days, I couldn't even walk, then about five days ago I turned the corner a little bit. Now I can walk with no pain.''

But nevertheless, she explained her reasons for going public with the news of her injury:

Vonn said she went public with her injury because if she was unable to complete downhill training on Thursday, there would be no hiding that something was wrong. "I wanted to tell you guys now," she said at her press conference, "as opposed to you guys watching the first training run and I'm not in it."

So just like that, the Olympics' biggest star might not compete? Maybe. But at the same time, we're talking about a woman with a history of injuries that's experienced in "toughing it out." Given the apparent improvements to her shin, as well The Olympic Moment, in general, you'd have to think she'll give it a try. And what happens then?

When I first heard about it, the Vonn injury seemed like a disaster for Vonn, the Winter Olympics, and fans everywhere. And frankly, it may still turn out to be. But then, now seems like a good time to mention this: If she can ski successfully and win Gold, it'll forever enhance the myth of Lindsey Vonn, and we could be in for one of the more memorable Winter Olympics performances in history. So... Disaster? Not so fast.

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Vonn: Sitting Out Olympics Is 'A Possibility'

Lindsey Vonn, the overwhelming favorite in women's downhill, continued to discuss her right shin injury on Wednesday, and the more she talks, the bleaker the picture she paints.

"I'm sitting here today questioning whether, you know, I'll be even able to ski," Vonn said at a news conference. "I have to play it by ear." [...] Asked whether she could be forced to sit out altogether, Vonn replied: "Yeah, that's a possibility."

Vonn has not skied since the injury on Feb. 3; it's been painful to even try on one her ski boot. She has also yet to have an x-ray of the leg, for fear that it may be a broken bone.

It is clear that the gold medal favorite is struggling to deal not only with the injury itself, but also with the frustrating disappointment of not being at her best. 

"It is the most painful injury I have ever had," said Vonn, whose medal hopes at the last Winter Olympics in Turin were wrecked by a training crash. "It's going to be very challenging and difficult."

She added,"I can assure you that when I'm at the starting gate I'll be out there to win ... If I'm at the starting gate."

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