Lindsey Vonn suffers serious crash

American skier Lindsey Vonn is airlifted to hospital after crash-landing on opening day of alpine world championships.

    Lindsey Vonn suffers serious crash
    World's most celebrated female skier Vonn is airlifted out of women's super-G course in Schladming, Austria [AP]

    Lindsey Vonn was taken to a hospital by helicopter Tuesday after crashing and apparently hurting her right knee in the super-G race at the world ski championships.

    Austrian ski federation president Peter Schroecksnadel said doctors told him that Vonn tore her cruciate and lateral ligaments.

    "That's the only injury she has, nothing besides this," Schroecksnadel said.

    The U.S. ski team gave no immediate update on Vonn's condition but said it would release a statement later on Tuesday.

    Vonn, a four-time overall World Cup champion, lost balance on her right leg while landing after a jump. Her ski came off immediately, and she slid off course and hit a gate before coming to a halt.

    The American received medical treatment on the slope for 12 minutes before being taken to the hospital.

    The crash came almost exactly one year before the start of the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

    Tricky conditions

    Vonn returned to the circuit last month after taking an almost month-long break from racing to fully recover from an intestinal illness that put her in a hospital for two days in November.

    Vonn trailed Tina Maze of Slovenia, who won gold, by 0.12 seconds shortly before the crash.

    The race, which was postponed for 3½ hours because of fog, continued after another 15-minute delay.

    Several racers struggled with the conditions.

    "It's not a very difficult course but in some parts you couldn't see anything," Fabienne Suter of Switzerland said.

    It's the sixth straight major championship in which Vonn is struggling with injuries.

    Two years ago, she pulled out midway through the last worlds in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, because of a mild concussion. At the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, Vonn skied despite a severely bruised shin to win the downhill and take bronze in the super-G.

    At the 2009 worlds in Val d'Isere, France, she sliced her thumb open on a champagne bottle after sweeping gold in the downhill and super-G, forcing her out of the giant slalom. At the 2007 worlds in Are, Sweden, Vonn injured her knee in training and missed her final two events.

    And at the 2006 Turin Olympics, she had a horrific crash in downhill training and went directly from her hospital room to the mountain to compete in four of her five events.

    SOURCE: AP


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