Skier Lindsey Vonn is retiring after a spectacular career. Her goal was to retire with the most World Cup wins of any skier ever, man or woman. And she did almost that. With 82 wins over her career she has won more than any woman in history. She is just three shy of the men’s record, held by Ingemar Stenmark with 85.
It was a lofty goal to set for herself, but that’s the kind of competitor Vonn is. And if it wasn’t for injuries, she might have reached it. But Vonn has raced through enough pain in her life. Following a recent crash, her knee all but gave out. Of course, Vonn kept racing. But enough is enough. Even Vonn has to admit when it’s time to quit.
But it isn’t retiring that bothers her. It’s just the fact that she isn’t retiring with the most World Cup wins ever.
A Difficult Path
Lindsey missed the world record by three, but it wasn’t for lack of trying. Her career has been plagued by injuries. She was out of at least part of six different World Cup seasons. She was also forced to miss the Sochi Olympics in 2014.
The list of her injuries is either impressive or terrifying. She’s broken legs and torn cartilage. She’s had her kneecaps repaired and been concussed. And that’s just to name a few.
Vonn says that each morning she wakes up in pain. She’s ignored her body long enough. Foolishly or not, Vonn has battled through great adversity to be the great skier that she is. Even if she doesn’t have the most World Cup wins in history, she certainly has earned her place atop the skiing world.
No one represents what it means to be a champion more than Vonn. And a champion is certainly how she is remembered.