Vail, CO – Alpine ski racer Lindsey Vonn is heading back to the U.S. to take a break from the World Cup circuit to complete her rehabilitation from a bout of intestinal illness.
Vonn was hospitalized last month due to complaints of abdominal pain, and has been fighting to return to World Cup form ever since. She skied off course in Sunday’s giant slalom in Courchevel won by current tour leader Tina Maze of Slovenia. Two days earlier Vonn uncharacteristically fell and crashed into safety netting during the Val d’Isere downhill.
Immediately following Sunday’s race, Vonn posted to Facebook, “Hit a rock on my left ski in the GS and skied off course…struggling to find the energy I usually have…going to think hard over the next few days about my plan for the coming weeks and how to get strong again. Trying to stay positive. Now I’m packing up the Audi and heading to the airport.”
She elaborated with an additional Facebook posting yesterday. “After talking with my family and consulting with my coaches and trainers, I have decided to take a break from the World Cup circuit. Since my intestinal infection last month, I have been struggling with my energy and strength. I believe that some time off the mountain will help me regain the physical strength that I require to compete at the level that I demand from myself,” Vonn wrote.
“I want to be emphatic that this has nothing to do with my recent interview with People Magazine,” she added, referencing a recent article in which Vonn admitted to receiving prescription medication to battle depression. “I had completed that interview weeks before I was in the hospital with the intestinal infection.
Returning in the new year means that Vonn will skip at least this weekend’s races in Are, Sweden and those in Semmering, Austria at the end of the month. The races in Semmering, however, are technical events, and Vonn’s specialty is speed racing — downhill and super G.
Vonn currently sits fourth in the World Cup overall standings, with barely more than half the 799 points amassed by tour leader Maze.