Lindsey Vonn is back skiing on snow, the latest step in her recovery from blowing out her right knee at the World Championships as she prepares for the World Cup season and the Sochi Olympics.
Vonn, 28, took two easy-paced runs with U.S. Ski Team coach Jeff Fergus at a resort in the Andes Mountains region of Chile on Sunday afternoon.
Vonn said she felt good afterward, that her right knee wasn’t swollen and didn’t hurt at all after doing “beginner drills.” She practiced turns, got into her tuck and glided while lifting one knee at a time.
“I’ve crashed a lot in my career, and I’m just getting back up as fast as I can,” Vonn said Sunday. “Unfortunately it’s taken me seven months to get back up this time, but I was really excited to get out there today. … It just feels like the right time, and my body feels ready.”
The 2010 Olympic downhill champion suffered a torn ACL, MCL and lateral tibial plateau fracture on Feb. 5, crashing in the World Championships super-G in Schladming, Austria (video here). She had surgery five days later.
She still has nearly three months before her first competition, time Vonn will need to steadily return to form.
“I can’t tell which knee is injured — that’s a good sign,” Vonn said. “I usually go from zero to a hundred. I’m not good in between so this is going to be a challenge. Another challenge, test of my patience.”
She plans on returning to competitive skiing in late November at a World Cup tour stop in Beaver Creek, Colo. The first women’s Alpine skiing event at the Sochi Olympics is the super combined Feb. 10, three days after the opening ceremony. She’s expected to attempt defense of her downhill gold medal Feb. 12.
- Nick Zaccardi, NBCS OlympicTalk