DEVASTATED American downhill skier Lindsey Vonn has been forced to withdraw from next month’s Winter Olympics in Sochi having failed to overcome a knee injury.
The reigning Olympic champion will undergo surgery on an anterior cruciate ligament problem that surfaced during the World Championships in February 2013.
The 29-year-old had initially returned to training in September, but suffered a recurrence of the injury two months later and must now go under the knife.
“I am devastated to announce that I will not be able to compete in Sochi,” said Vonn.
“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, who is dating world No1 golfer Tiger Woods, is expected to recover in time for the start of the World Cup season later this year.