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Knee injury keeps Vonn out of Sochi Olympics

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By The Associated Press
Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014, 8:57 a.m.

Lindsey Vonn will miss the Sochi Olympics because of a right knee injury, leaving the Winter Games without one of its biggest stars.

The 29-year-old from Vail, Colo., announced her decision Tuesday, exactly one month before the opening ceremony in Russia.

Her personal publicist, Lewis Kay, said in a statement that Vonn “will have surgery shortly.”

In a posting on Facebook, Vonn said she is “devastated” to miss the Olympics, “but the reality has sunk in that my knee is just too unstable to compete at this level.”

She took home two medals from the 2010 Vancouver Games, including becoming the first American woman to win an Olympic gold in the downhill. Vonn is also a four-time overall World Cup champion, the most recognized name in Alpine skiing.

But Vonn tore two ligaments in her right knee during a high-speed crash at the world championships last February, sidelining her for about 10 months. She re-tore her surgically repaired ACL in a training crash in November, a key setback.

Then, after returning to competition in early December by finishing 40th, 11th and fifth in a set of World Cup races, Vonn sprained her MCL last month.

“I did everything I possibly could to somehow get strong enough to overcome having no ACL,” Vonn said Tuesday via Facebook.

After skiing in two downhills and a super-G at Lake Louise, Vonn was optimistic, declaring she would be in Sochi.

But a couple of weeks later in France, during a downhill, Vonn lost her balance, sending her left ski into the air, and forcing all her weight onto her right knee.

Kay said that an MRI after that episode “showed an MCL sprain, which coupled with the torn ACL, has made it impossible to stabilize her knee and be ready to safely ski again next month.”

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