Lindsey Vonn will miss the Sochi Olympics because of a right knee injury, leaving the Winter Games without one of its biggest stars.
The 29-year-old skier from Vail, Colo., announced her decision Tuesday, exactly one month before the opening ceremony in Russia. Her personal publicist, Lewis Kay, said in a statement Vonn will have surgery “shortly.”
In a Facebook posting, Vonn said she is “devastated” to miss the Olympics, “but the reality has sunk in that my knee is just too unstable to compete at this level.”
She took home two medals from the 2010 Vancouver Games, including becoming the first American woman to win an Olympic gold in the downhill. Vonn is also a four-time overall World Cup champion, the most recognized name in Alpine skiing — and the girlfriend of Tiger Woods.
Add it all up, and she would have been the focus of plenty of media coverage in Sochi, and certainly a main character in NBC’s coverage for a U.S. audience.