Doug Mills/The New York Times
Lindsey Vonn announced her retirement from skiing last week on Instagram in a post that read: “I have always pushed the limits of ski racing and it has allowed me to have amazing success but also dramatic crashes. My body is broken beyond repair and it isn’t letting me have the final season I dreamed of. My body is screaming at me to STOP and it’s time for me to listen”.
Vonn leaves the sport as the greatest female ski racer in history, but for this warrior who famously battled back time and time again from devastating injuries, this early exit not the ending she envisioned. When Vonn said this would be her final season, there was one more record she planned to break before she said farewell — most World Cup wins held by Ingemar Stenmark. And though that didn’t happen, he was there at finish line at her last race today to congratulate her on a storied career.
Coincidentally, another snow sport superstar, Chloe Kim, also announced she was retiring last week, but under polar opposite circumstances. The 2018 Gold Medalist in the Women’s Halfpipe, Kim was the face of the Pyeongchang Games last February. At 17 years old, not only did she live up to the Olympic hype and pressure to become the youngest woman to win a gold medal in the halfpipe, but she did it with unprecedented flair in a run that featured two back-to-back 1080-degree spins — a combination no other woman has ever done in a competition.