MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minnesota-born skiing legend Lindsey Vonn says she’ll retire from downhill racing after this month’s world championships in Sweden.
Vonn is the women’s all-time leader in World Cup wins.
The 34-year-old Apple Valley native says “my body is broken beyond repair.”
Vonn got her start on the slopes at Buck Hill in Burnsville.
Vonn is like poetry in motion when she attacks the slopes. The Minnesota native is one of the most decorated women in ski racing. Vonn is one of 5 women who has won World Cup races in all five disciplines – alpine skiing, downhill, Super G, grand slalom, slalom and combined.
“My students were talking about Lindsey Vonn on the way here knowing that she started out here,” said Kate Spangenberg.
Spangenberg said her students from Our Lady of the Lake in Mound learn the art of skiing, something their hero did when she was their age.
“Bringing my class here where they are starting out is totally awesome, so maybe one of them will follow in her footsteps,” Spangenberg said.
Vonn was part of the Buck Hill ski racing team until she was 13. It was on this hill she learned the skills that made her a champion.
“She’s been a great part of our history, legacy – the racing team is super proud of her accomplishments over the years,” Dave Solner said.
Buck Hill Owner Dave Solner says the impact Vonn has had on the resort is obvious.
Her picture hangs in the most prominent places in the Chalet and the ski team room as a shrine to her accomplishments.
“It’s great to see her with the success and having the roots come out of Buck Hill,” Solner said.
Solner and many others who have followed Vonn’s career are sad to see it ending.
Vonn’s 82 World Cup wins give her the most ever for a woman, falling short of Ingemar Stenmark’s record of 86.
“We get it, it’s part of the cycle, we wish she could have broken the all-time record. She is a champion. She has the record for women and just the success is amazing what she has accomplished, but sad to see – it’s an end to an era, but she has a couple of races left and we hope the best for her,” Solner said.
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