Skier Lindsey Vonn says she will be ready for the 2014 Winter Olympic Games despite undergoing major knee surgery just two weeks ago.
Vonn — the four-time World Cup Champion and gold medalist at the 2010 Olympics —tore her ACL, MCL and fractured her tibia in her right leg during a horrific crash February 5 at the Alpine skiing world championships in Austria. She was airlifted from the slopes before having surgery in the U.S.
"Right now my goal is to be back for 2014 in Sochi," Vonn told Matt Lauer on the Today show Monday morning. "Honestly, in a worst case scenario, if I trained a week before the games, I'd be fine.
"I have have plenty of time to be ready for Sochi," she said in her first televised interview since the dramatic crash.
The 28-year-old Vonn told Lauer about the devastating injury during her super-G run, but said she knew she would get back on the slopes.
"I initially thought it was going to be worse," Vonn explained. "There was just so much pain that I couldn't quite tell where exactly it was coming from.
"I knew what was wrong with me within five minutes of getting there, so everything happened pretty quick. I didn’t think it was going to be the end of my career."
Vonn revealed her personal pain only days after criticizing officials for their decision to let the race go on despite soft snow and foggy conditions.
"I don't think the jury made the right call," Vonn said in a teleconference with reporters Friday. "The fog came in and delayed the start of the race. When I was at the start, I was ready to go, but I had no idea what the course conditions were. I inspected the course at 8 a.m. and I ran the course at about 3:15."
Vonn said by the time she hit the slopes, the conditions had deteriorated so much that it was unbelievable that the race was allowed to be run.
"I skied aggressively, but when I was skiing, I couldn't believe the conditions,” Vonn said. “The snow was too soft. It had broken down. I didn't think it was safe."
One thing the pretty skier would not discuss were the rumors of being romantically linked with pro golfer Tiger Woods. Vonn told Lauer she would like to keep her personal life private.
She did say that despite the injury and the controversial crash, she will no doubt be in Sochi next winter.
"I know I can [return]," Vonn said. "That's just who I am. I feel like I have a lot more left to do."