Lindsey Vonn had already laid the groundwork to make her shin the scapegoat in her shocking disqualification in Thursday's women's super combined event. For one week, almost all of the statements made by the two-time World Cup champion indicated that her leg was in bad shape and that any potential troubles which might arise in the Olympics would likely be caused by the injury.
Even in victory on Tuesday, Vonn still mentioned how much the shin was hurting. NBC announcers were (ridiculously) more impressed with her skiing through pain rather than the technically flawless race she put together on the most difficult downhill course in Olympic history. So when Vonn fell on Thursday, a hundred or so meters from the finish of the slalom course at Whistler, it was to be expected that Vonn was going to blame her shin for all her troubles.
And then she didn't. Sort of.
Immediately after the race, Vonn spoke of being too aggressive in trying to shave off time to catch Germany's Maria Riesch. She said she knew she had to attack the course if she wanted to win gold. There was no mention of skiing for silver because, one could guess, Lindsey Vonn didn't come to the Olympics to finish second.
The shin came up, as it always does. Vonn said it was "killing" and wondered if she was too aggressive in light of the injury. That suggestion only came up after she was asked though. On her daily update on her Facebook page, Vonn didn't mention the injury once. She wrote:
First off I want to congratulate Maria, Julia, and Anya on their great performances today they did a great job and it was cool to see Maria get the gold medal that she deserves! Unfortunately I ran into some problems in the second run hooking a tip and crashing in the SL portion, that is just how it goes sometimes in alpine skiing. I have mixed emotions on my day, I am really disappointed that I didn't finish and I lost a chance for gold in one of my strongest events, but on the positive side I was happy to have another solid run in DH and I was also happy with how my SL was going before skiing out. I went out attacking and giving it my best and I feel like that's what the Olympics are all about, so I can't be to disappointed. So now I am shifting my focus to the SG on Saturday. I am going to have a good rest day tomorrow to I should be fresh for the race. OK I am off to bed I will check in with you guys tomorrow. Thanks again for all your support! xoxo LV
In an interview Friday morning with Fox Business Network, Vonn said her shin was "hurting me and is a distraction, but I don't think it's actually hampering my skiing. I think I'm still able to ski the way I want to."