Lindsey Vonn suffered a frightening crash in the women's Super-G event on the first day of the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in Austria on Tuesday. The four-time overall World Cup champion suffered injuries so sever that she had to be airlifted off the mountain.
Vonn "went over the handle bars and took out a panel," is how Ski Racing Magazine described the crash.
The start of the World Ski Championships was delayed by two hours on Tuesday because of heavy fog, causing low visibility. The fog was just the latest batch of bad weather in Schladming, as the area dealt with heavy rains in the days leading up to the event. And indeed, even when the race began, conditions were still not ideal, and perhaps not safe -- "Three of next 4 starters after Vonn - all among world's best - [Did Not Finish]."
The video of the crash shows Vonn catching an edge while trying to land after a jump and then tumbling over while her leg is twisted in a grotesque menner.
It is obviously too early to speculate on injuries -- though the doctor on the scene "suspects tibial plateau fracture" -- but fellow skier Tina Maze's reaction after learning of Vonn's crash does not forecast good news.
Maze was the eventual winner of the Super G race, with Lara Gut second and American Julia Mancuso claiming bronze.
Vonn won a gold medal in women's downhill and a silver in the Super-G in the 2010 Winter Olympics, and also won the Super-G at the Wold Championships in 2009. She has finished first in the overall World Cup standings in four of the past five years, finishing second in 2011.