(Reuters) – Skiing great Lindsey Vonn was named on Wednesday in the U.S. team for the Alpine world championships starting in Sweden next week, easing fears of her immediate retirement.
FILE PHOTO: Lindsey Vonn of the US after winning the women’s Super G in Alpine Skiing World Cup in Zauchensee, Austria, on January 10, 2016. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger/File Photo
The 34-year-old, who has 82 World Cup wins and a 2010 Olympic downhill gold, had said this month that she might have to hang up her skis before the championships in Are.
Vonn has been plagued by knee injuries throughout her career and complained of intense pain after a super-G in Cortina d’Ampezzo on Jan. 20.
She later explained on Instagram that the latest pain was caused by a nerve injury, possibly caused by a training run jump, that got progressively worse over the weekend until her muscles had shut down.
“I know that I might not get the ending to my career that I had hoped for, but if there is a chance, I will take it,” she said then.
All-rounder Mikaela Shiffrin will be the big medal hope of the 13-strong squad, with 11 World Cup victories across four disciplines so far this season.
The 23-year-old, the sport’s highest-paid athlete, also leads the World Cup overall, slalom, giant slalom and super-G standings.
The Olympic giant slalom champion and slalom world champion could also add Alpine combined to her schedule in Are, having won silver in the event at last year’s Winter Games in Pyeongchang.
The seven-strong men’s team sees the return of veteran downhiller Steven Nyman and 2014 Olympic giant slalom gold medalist Ted Ligety, who both missed the 2017 championships in St. Moritz due to injury.
“This team has the depth, experience and heart to bring home medals,” said Alpine director Jesse Hunt in a statement.
The championships start on Feb. 5 and end on Feb. 17.
Reporting by Alan Baldwin, editing by Toby Davis