/Alpine skiing: Vonn resigned to pain game after glittering career

Alpine skiing: Vonn resigned to pain game after glittering career

(Reuters) – Lindsey Vonn would love to compete for several more years but the rigours of professional skiing are too much for her body to handle, the American told CNN’s Alpine Edge.

FILE PHOTO: Alpine Skiing – Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics – Women’s Alpine Combined – Jeongseon Alpine Centre – Pyeongchang, South Korea – February 22, 2018 – Lindsey Vonn of the U.S. competes in the Women’s Slalom part of the Women’s Alpine Combined. REUTERS/Mike Segar/File Photo

Vonn, who opened her season on Friday in Italy where she finished tied for 15th in a World Cup downhill, just wants to end her glittering career on her own terms.

“I would keep going for many more years, I’ve no problem working hard and doing what I need to do in the gym, and obviously I love going fast, but my body doesn’t love going fast anymore,” Vonn, 34, said in Cortina d’Ampezzo.

“I’ve extended my career probably longer than I should have already but I’m finally succumbing to what my body has been telling me for a while.

“There will be long-term effects — I will have arthritis, I will have a lot of pain in a lot of different places, but I still want to finish on my own terms.”

Vonn has already pushed back her planned retirement at the end of the 2018-19 season to allow her to race at Lake Louise, her most successful tour stop, after an injury denied her the opportunity to do so last year.

Vonn, who has suffered multiple injuries during her career, holds the record for women’s World Cup victories with 82 and remains confident she can beat Swede Ingemar Stenmark’s all-time record haul of 86 but no longer fixates on the chase.

“I want to enjoy my last season, I don’t want to just think about the record and be mad at myself if I don’t get it,” said Vonn, who will race in Saturday’s downhill followed by a super-G on Sunday.

“I’ve accomplished so much more in my career than I ever expected and I don’t think focusing only on this record is a good idea for me mentally, and it doesn’t sum up my career as a whole.”

Vonn empathised with British tennis player Andy Murray, who last week said unbearable hip pain would bring an early end to a career that has included three Grand Slam titles.

“Of course as an athlete you put everything you have into your sport and sometimes it takes a little bit more than it gives,” Vonn said.

“Obviously, Andy has had a lot of success in his career and it’s not the way that he wants to end it. I told (Murray] to call my physical therapist because she does miracles. If anyone can bring him back, she can.”

Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto, editing by Ed Osmond

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