'I'm no Tom Brady', says too-old Vonn after super-G crash

Lindsey Vonn admitted to thoughts of being "too old for this shit" as she slid out of Wednesday's world championship super-G race, adding however that she dreaded missing the adrenaline ski racing gave her as she heads into retirement.

Vonn, in flat light caused by cloud cover in Are, Sweden, hit a lip of a roll that propelled her forward. The 34-year-old landed heavily and slid with force into the safety nettings in a race won by her younger teammate Mikaela Shiffrin.

"I've got a bit of a shiner," Vonn said. "I feel like I've been hit by an 18-wheeler, but other than that I'm great!

"My knees are the same as they were before the race. I think my neck's going to be sore. I got the wind knocked out of me, my ribs are oddly sore. It'll be fine, Sunday'll be great," she said in reference to the blue riband downhill, a race she won last year on this same slope in Are.

Vonn added: "My immediate thought was 'what the hell, why am I in the fence again?'

"It was like 'Why am I here, I'm too old for this shit!'"

Medical staff were quickly on the scene to help Vonn get gingerly back to her feet, to applause from the crowd around the finish line.

Her involvement in the race was all too brief. No sooner had the commentator announced that Vonn had form on the hill, having won two world silver medals there in 2007, than her skis kicked back off the rise to groans from the crowd.

Race leader Mikaela Shiffrin was shown on the big screen television clutching her head as her US teammate, who is just four wins short of Ingemar Stenmark's World Cup record of 86, slid out at pace into the bright red netting.

Vonn will bow out after these championships after 19 illustrious seasons that have seen her scoop a record 20 crystal globes, including four overall titles. She is also the 2010 Olympic downhill champion, and won the world speed double in Val d'Isere in 2009.

- 'No Tom Brady' -

As injuries continued to take their toll, Vonn announced last week that she would retire after Are, while not for one second regretting her sporting choices.

"I love what I do," she said, before adding: "As much as I love winning, I love going fast even more, I love the thrill of competition, I love downhill because I love pushing myself, I love pushing the limits, I love the adrenaline.

"Downhill is not a healthy sport, people crash all the time, every day. In Garmisch three people (were ruled) out for the rest of the season.

"If you want to be healthy, then you should probably do another sport. Me, I've done it and pushed the limits as long as I can, I just can't push the limits anymore. It doesn't mean it's not worth the risk, I take that risk head on."

Vonn insisted she was no Tom Brady, the quarter-back who won a record sixth Super Bowl with the New England Patriots on Sunday at the age of 41.

"I've come back from way too many injuries and I'm just not able to do it," she said. "Not everyone can be Tom Brady and keep winning the Super Bowl for a million times.

"If you look at all the injuries I've had, winning in five events, it's really something amazing and I'm proud of it no matter if I got 82 or 87 (World Cup wins). I wish I could have got it but not at the risk of the rest of my life.

"I'm not sad about it, I've accepted it. It's time to enjoy it and have some fun and then party."

Vonn also revealed that she will undergo a knee operation after she hangs up her racing suit, the seventh surgery of her career.

"I'm screwed!" she joked. "I've known that for three years now. It's only a matter of time. The analogy I was given was, I only have a certain amount of steps left.

"I've run out of steps at this point. I know I'll have pain for the rest of my life but I wouldn't change it... I've got no cartilage, no meniscus, I got rods and plates and screws. There's a lot going on. My head is still good. That's all I need at my point."

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