Records, medals and injuries - the highs and lows of Lindsey Vonn's illustrious career

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Lindsey Vonn's illustrious career will end on Sunday after a string of injuries forced her to bring forward her retirement.

Records, medals and injuries - the highs and lows of Lindsey Vonn's illustrious career

Lindsey Vonn's illustrious career will end on Sunday after a string of injuries forced her to bring forward her retirement.

Sunday's FIS Alpine World Ski Championships downhill will mark the end of an era as Lindsey Vonn, the greatest female skier ever, calls time on her illustrious career.

Vonn has broken numerous records since making her World Cup at the age of 16 and she will retire with her iconic status very much intact.

Despite all of the accolades that have been bestowed on Vonn, her career will also be remembered for the string of injuries that have brought the end of her time as a professional.

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Vonn will bow out with 82 World Cup wins, four overall titles, 16 discipline globes, an Olympic gold and - currently - two World Championship crowns.

Here, we take a look back at the highs and lows of skiing's ground-breaking superstar.

 

November 2000 – A teenage Vonn, then racing under her maiden name Lindsey Kildow, makes her World Cup bow in the slalom at Park City, Utah. She completes the first run but fails to qualify for the second.

February 2002 – Vonn features in her first Winter Olympics, finishing sixth in the alpine combined and 32nd in the slalom six days later.

December 2004 – For the first time in her career Vonn takes top spot on a World Cup podium, claiming the first of her 18 wins at Lake Louise in the downhill. Vonn's winning margin is 0.19 seconds from Carole Montillet-Carles.

March 2008 – After five downhill wins in the 2008 season, Vonn claimed her maiden discipline globe by 307 points. She would go on to secure the overall globe - becoming the first American female in 25 years to win the World Cup's top prize. She would win it another three times over the next four years.

February 2010 – In her third Olympics Vonn finally secured the gold medal she had been so hungry for. Unsurprisingly it came in the downhill. The course in Whistler had been labelled as one of the most difficult but Vonn mastered it superbly to take the title by 0.56secs from American team-mate Julia Mancuso.

February 2013 – A crash in the super-G at the World Championships in Schladming saw Vonn tear the anterior cruciate ligament in her right knee. The injury ended her season.

November 2013 – During a training run prior to her planned comeback, Vonn partially tore her ACL after a crash. She re-injured the same knee in Val d'Isere a month later and was forced to withdraw from the 2014 Winter Olympics.

December 2014 – Vonn wins her first race since returning from knee problems, taking victory in the downhill at Lake Louise.

January 2015 – The American equals Annemarie Moser-Proll's record of 62 race wins with victory in the downhill at Cortina d'Ampezzo. Twenty-four hours later she moves ahead of the Austrian by winning the super-G at the same resort.

November 2016 – She fractures the humerus bone of her right arm in a training crash. The severity of the injury left Vonn with nerve damage that meant she was unable to move her fingers.

March 2018 – Vonn wins the final World Cup race of her career in Are, beating Sofia Goggia by 0.06secs to move within four of Ingemar Stenmark's record for any World Cup athlete – a margin she would try but fail to narrow.

October 2018 – After missing the opening events of the 2018-19 World Cup, Vonn announces she will retire at end of season, stating: "Physically, I've gotten to the point where it doesn't make sense [to race]."

November 2018 - Ahead of her planned return Vonn damages the lateral collateral ligament in her left knee during a training run at Copper Mountain. The injury sees her miss Lake Louise, so she opts to extend her career to include the 2019 race at the Canadian resort.

January 2019 – Vonn returns to racing in Cortina - finishing 15th and 9th in the downhill - but two weeks later she confirmed she would retire after the World Championships in Are. "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."

February 2019 - A huge crash after misjudging a gate in the super-G in Are sees Vonn fail to finish her penultimate race. She is able to ski to the finish and vows to compete in Sunday's downhill.

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