Last Updated: 12/10/18 8:55am
Skiing legend Lindsey Vonn says she will retire from competition at the end of the 2018-19 season, even if she fails to break the record for World Cup wins.
The 2010 Olympic downhill champion holds the women’s record of 82 World Cup wins and trails only Swedish great Ingemar Stenmark’s long-standing mark of 86.
“If I get it (the record) that would be a dream come true,” Vonn said. “If I don’t, I think I’ve had an incredibly successful career no matter what.”
“Physically, I’ve gotten to the point where it doesn’t make sense (to continue competing).
“I really would like to be active when I’m older, so I have to look to the future and not just be so focused on what’s in front of me.”
Vonn, who in 2015 founded the education-focused Lindsey Vonn Foundation, said she would turn her attention to launching her own business when she hangs up her skis.
“My experiences on the slopes have helped shape me into who I am today,” she said on Twitter.
“I’m confident those same lessons will pay off as I begin to explore what’s next for my career.”
Since first tearing her ACL in 2007, Vonn has suffered frequent knee-ligament injuries as well as broken bones. She missed the 2014 Sochi Games due to a knee injury which she has been managing ever since.
The Minnesota-born skier had said at the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics that she would not quit until beating Stenmark’s record.
U.S. Ski & Snowboard President and CEO, Tiger Shaw, hailed Vonn as an icon of world sport.
“The news today that the forthcoming season will be Lindsey’s last is to be celebrated,” Shaw said.
“We all have a chance to watch an incredible athlete end her glittering competitive ski racing career by writing a record breaking new chapter. That is an appropriate way to pay homage to this chapter of Lindsey’s life.”
Vonn, who became the oldest women’s alpine skier to win an Olympic medal when she picked up a downhill bronze in South Korea earlier this year, has also stated her desire to test herself against her male counterparts.
Vonn began skiing at the age of three and started racing at seven. Her final season will kick off in Lake Louise in late November.