Lindsey Vonn crashes, reportedly injures 'cruciate and lateral ligament'

Christophe Pallot/Agence Zoom

Olympic gold medalist Lindsey Vonn reportedly suffered "cruciate and lateral ligament" injuries in a nasty crash at Tuesday's FIS Alpine World Ski Championships.

American skier Lindsey Vonn suffered a "cruciate and lateral ligament" injury in her terrifying crash during the Super G event at Tuesday's FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in Austria, this according to an official with the International Ski Federation. Fear of a broken tibia, which was rumored earlier, was fortunately unfounded.

Austrian ski federation president Peter Schroecksnadel said doctors told him that Vonn tore her cruciate and lateral ligaments.

"That's the only injury she has, nothing besides this," Schroecksnadel said.

Vonn caught an edge and tumbled head-over-heels during her run, crashing into a gate and twisting her right knee in the process. She was treated by medical staff on the hill for 12 minutes before being airlifted to a hospital.

For Vonn, it becomes a race against the clock in recovery and rehab -- the Opening Ceremonies for the 2014 Winter Olympics start in one year and two days.

The women's Super G, the opening event at the World Championships, was delayed by two hours because of fog and then eventually canceled because of the low visibility after Vonn completed her run. "It's not a very difficult course but in some parts you couldn't see anything," Fabienne Suter of Switzerland said.

Slovenia's Tina Maze, the overall points leader, was declared the winner.

Just hours before the event, Vonn published her latest entry in her "World Cup Diary" in the Denver Post and expressed her trepidation regarding the conditions:

The world championships are supposed to begin Tuesday with the women's super-G, but it's very possible the race will have to be postponed because of weather.

I've been trying to be patient and stay calm, but it's pretty tough with the way the weather has been. It snowed a lot Sunday night, there was no training possible Monday on the race hill, then it rained most of Monday afternoon and evening. [...]

We were supposed to have free skiing on the race course Monday, which means two or three runs for you to learn about the terrain and snow conditions. But because it snowed so much, they closed it to everyone including coaches. None of our staff has been on the hill. We don't know what shape the hill is in. We don't know anything about it.

Vonn, a four-time overall World Champion, had won 18 of the past 28 super-G races on the World Cup circuit. At the time of her crash, she was had the fastest first interval split time.

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