“I am devastated to announce that I will not be able to compete in Sochi,” Vonn says in a statement to “Today.” “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.”
The gold medalist had major knee surgery last winter after she suffered injuries in a crash in the Alpine skiing world championships in Schlamding, Austria. In November, she partially tore one of the ligaments that had been reconstructed in the initial surgery while taking part in a training run in Colorado.
Vonn’s bad luck continued when she hurt her knee once again on Dec. 21 during a race in Val d’Isere, France. Because of that, she will be unable to defend her gold medals from the 2010 Olympics.
“I’m having surgery soon so that I can be ready for the World Championships at home in Vail next February,” Vonn says. “On a positive note, this means there will be an additional spot so that one of my teammates can go for gold. Thank you all so much for all of the love and support. I will be cheering for all of the Olympians and especially team USA!”