Skier Lindsey Vonn was airlifted to the hospital Tuesday after a horrific crash during the super-G at the world championships in Schladming, Austria.
Austrian ski federation president Peter Schroecksnadel said doctors told him that Vonn tore her cruciate and lateral ligaments.
The injury occurred while the four-time World Cup champion was leading in the top split of the race. She crashed launching off a jump midway down the track. After losing balance on her right leg, with her knee bending awkwardly, Vonn's ski came off immediately, causing her to go off course and hit a gate before stopping. (see video below).
Skiing star LINDSEY VONN moments before her accident. (Credit Image: © Imago/ZUMAPRESS.com)
The race had already been postponed three hours due to fog and several competitors struggled due to the weather.
Vonn was treated on the mountain before being taken to a nearby hospital by helicopter. Her sister Laura told NBC that Vonn would need surgery.
Vonn had won 18 of the last World Cup 28 super-G races. Tina Maze of Slovenia, the World Cup overall leader, won the race. Lara Gut of Switzerland placed second and Julia Mancuso of the United States placed third.
The American skier is no stranger to setbacks and injuries. She had just returned to racing earlier this year after taking nearly a month off to recover from an intestinal illness.
In the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, Vonn skied despite a severely bruised shin to win the downhill and take bronze in the super-G.
And at the 2006 Turin Olympics, Vonn 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.
Today's crash comes just as the one-year countdown for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia begins.
This video of the crash shows Vonn catching an edge while trying to land after a jump and then tumbling over while her knee bends in an uncomfortably, unnatural manner. Here's hoping she can recover in time for the Sochi Games.
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