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Vonn’s injury still playing on her mind

Eric Willemsen
The Associated Press
Aspen, CO Colorado
Lindsey Vonn, of the United States, reacts after completing an alpine ski, Women's World Cup Slalom race, in Zagreb, Croatia, Sunday, Jan. 3, 2010. Vonn did not finish a second run. (AP Photo/Marco Trovati)
AP | AP

ZAGREB, Croatia – Lindsey Vonn is trying to think Olympics. Her bruised left arm is making it difficult.

The reigning overall World Cup champion was back at the American team’s Austrian base in Zell am See on Monday, and says she’s having a tough time focusing on the Winter Games six weeks away after crashing during a giant slalom race Dec. 28.

“I hope my arm gets better for Vancouver,” Vonn said. “I feel positive despite Zagreb. My goal is to get my arm healthy and to get my confidence back, and put my arm out of my mind.”

Vonn skied with her arm in a splint Sunday. She missed a gate during the second run of a World Cup slalom in Zagreb and lost her overall points lead. The 25-year-old Vonn plans to compete this weekend in the speed races in Haus im Ennstal.

Last season, Vonn raced with her right hand taped to the pole after injuring her thumb on a champagne bottle at the world championships in February. This injury is different.

“It’s the whole arm that hurts, not just the thumb like last year,” Vonn said. “That makes it harder to put it out of my mind. But I accept it.”

U.S. team technical coach Trevor Wagner said Vonn was “still a little tentative with her arm, but it’s healing up nicely and she’ll get another good break here before going into speed races.”

Vonn prefers the speed races to the technical events and said she was “looking forward to Haus,” where she could regain the lead in the overall standings.

She has been overtaken by main rival and friend Maria Riesch, who finished fourth in Zagreb. Riesch has 599 points, with Vonn five behind.

“It would have been nice for the overall if she’d scored a few points,” Wagner said. “But she’s racking them up in speed races, so she’ll be fine.”

The event in Haus im Ennstal consists of downhills Friday and Saturday – the first a replacement for the race canceled in Val d’Isere, France, last month – and a super-G Sunday.


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