Ski champ Lindsey Vonn suffers ‘complex knee injury’ in race crash [VIDEO]

Posted at 1:40 PM, Feb 05, 2013
and last updated 2013-02-05 13:42:54-05

(CNN) – Olympic champion Lindsey Vonn suffered a “complex knee injury” when she crashed during the opening day super-G at the Alpine Ski World Championships in Austria Tuesday, doctors said.

The U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association said the four-time Alpine World Cup champion was airlifted from the race course in Schladming, Austria, to a hospital. Her injuries are not life-threatening, a hospital spokesman said.

Vonn, 28, does not need immediate surgery on the “complex torn ligament” in her right knee, said Dr. Christian Kaulfersch, who is treating her at the Schladming Hospital.

U.S. team officials are considering if she should fly back to the United States or remain in Europe for treatment, he said.

She wrote in a special column published in The Denver Post that the women’s super-G runs might be postponed Tuesday because of weather.

“I’ve been trying to be patient and stay calm, but it’s pretty tough with the way the weather has been,” Vonn wrote. “It snowed a lot Sunday night, there was no training possible Monday on the race hill, then it rained most of Monday afternoon and evening.”

The heavy snow meant Monday’s free skiing session, in which she could learn about the race course’s terrain and conditions, was canceled, she wrote.

“None of our staff has been on the hill,” she wrote. “We don’t know what shape the hill is in. We don’t know anything about it.”

She was very familiar with the hill since it is where the World Cup finals were held last year, she wrote, “but it always feels a little awkward when you don’t get a chance to free ski the hill before you race. It’s tricky to know the terrain when all you have to go on is course inspection the morning of the race.”

Vonn, who won the downhill gold in the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, is just three wins behind Annemarie Moser-Proll’s record of 62 World Cup wins.

She was coming back from an intestinal illness that hospitalized her in November.