Lindsey Vonn is hanging up her skis. The gold medalist announced her pending retirement in an emotional post to Facebook, revealing that the struggle to work around injuries has finally become too much to bear.
"The past two weeks have been some of the most emotionally challenging days of my life. I am struggling with the reality of what my body is telling me versus what my mind and heart believe I’m capable of. The unfortunate reality is my mind and body are not on the same page," she wrote. "After many sleepless nights, I have finally accepted that I cannot continue ski racing. I will compete at the World Championships in Downhill and Super-G next week in Åre, Sweden and they will be the final races of my career."
"Over the past few years I have had more injuries and surgeries than I care to admit. I have always pushed the limits of ski racing and it has allowed me to have amazing success but also dramatic crashes. I have never wanted the storyline of my career to be about injuries and because of that I decided not to tell anyone that I underwent surgery this past spring," she said. "My crash in Lake Louise last year was much more painful than I let on, but I continued to race because I wanted to win a medal in the Olympics for my late grandfather."
Though Vonn won four Olympic medals and 20 World Cup titles, she said that she didn't reach her own personal goals. However, she can't ignore what her injuries are telling her.
"My body is broken beyond repair and it isn't letting me have the final season I dreamed of," she said. "My body is screaming at me to STOP and it’s time for me to listen."
Vonn wrote that her last event will be next week's world championships in Sweden.