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US Ski Star Vonn to Miss Sochi Olympics

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The United States will be without one of its biggest stars at next month’s Winter Olympics in Sochi after US women’s ski champion Lindsey Vonn announced Tuesday that an injured knee would prevent her from racing in the games.

WASHINGTON, January 7 (RIA Novosti) – The United States will be without one of its biggest stars at next month’s Winter Olympics in Sochi after US women’s ski champion Lindsey Vonn announced Tuesday that an injured knee would prevent her from racing in the games.

“I am devastated to announce that I will not be able to compete in Sochi,” Vonn said in a statement on her website.

Vonn, the most dominant US women’s alpine skier in history and a gold medalist in downhill at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, was a favorite to win a medal for the United States at the Sochi Games, which kick off February 7.

Despite injuring her knee, including her anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), in February and reinjuring it in November, Vonn had vowed that she would be ready for the slopes in Sochi, a Black Sea resort town in southern Russia.

The Netherlands-based firm Infostrada, which projects Olympic medal results, predicted in early December that she would repeat her gold-medal performance from Vancouver at the games.

But Vonn, 29, reinjured her right knee while skiing in France on Dec. 21, and her publicist said in a statement Tuesday that the cumulative injuries “has made it impossible to stabilize her knee and be ready to safely ski again next month,” US media reported.

I did everything I possibly could to somehow get strong enough to overcome having no ACL but the reality has sunk in that my knee is just too unstable to compete at this level,” Vonn said on her website.

Vonn’s publicist said that the skier is expected to make a full recovery and be ready to compete for the upcoming World Cup season and next year’s World Alpine Ski Championships in Colorado.

Vonn has won 17 World Cup titles and has set records with six consecutive downhill crowns and four overall titles. Her total of 59 World Cup victories is just three shy of the record 62 captured by Annemarie Moser-Pröll of Austria.

Vonn has also been become a US tabloid fixture after going public last year about her relationship with legendary American golfer Tiger Woods following the collapse of his marriage amid a highly public sex scandal in 2009. 

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