U.S. Olympic skier Lindsey Vonn announced this morning that she will not be competing in the upcoming Winter Olympics because of a sprained MCL in her right knee. Vonn hurt her knee while skiing off course at a World Cup event in December. In November, Vonn partially tore her surgically repaired ACL in the same knee.
Here's Vonn's full statement, via her Facebook page:
I am devastated to announce that I will not be able to compete in Sochi. 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. I'm having surgery soon so that I can be ready for the World Championships at home in Vail next February. 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!
This is a huge blow not only to Team USA's potential medal count, but also to general interest in the games. Vonn is by far the most popular athlete on the American Olympic roster, and her absence will leave producers at NBC scrambling to find someone else to get us excited about. Perhaps there's an anonymous figure skater out there, just waiting to capture the nation's attention. Oooh, or how about Bode Miller? Is that dude still around?