Correction: A previous version of this article incorrectly indicated that Lindsey Vonn injured her ankle, not her shin.
Lindsey Vonn of the United States is currently recognized as the best female skier in the world. She won the 2008 and 2009 overall World Cup Championships. Her 31 individual World Cup victories are the most ever by an American woman. She was a heavy favorite to win the downhill, super giant slalom, and combined in addition to being a contender in the giant slalom and slalom. Sports Illustrated anointed her as the poster girl of the Winter Olympics when it placed her on the cover of their Olympic preview issue.
You’ll notice I used the word "was." A training accident two weeks ago left her with a damaged shin and when skiing close to 40 miles per hour, while twisting and turning with precision, can be a significant problem. Her Olympic participation was in doubt but several days ago she announced that she would ski, although she is not at 100%.
The Olympic Gods have smiled upon her, however, as the weather has forced the postponement of her first race from Sunday to Monday and possibly another day or so. Every postponement gives her shin another day to heal.
Her shin has become one of the early stories of The Olympics. That shin and a lot more were on public display in the Sports Illustrated annual swimsuit edition. For better or worse she was one of several Olympic athletes to pose for the magazine and is a testament to the fact that she could be a rare Olympic breakout star.
While the shin might look good in a magazine, it all comes down to how it will hold up during the next two weeks. Most World Cup skiing takes place in Europe which is a long way from The United States. She needs a gold medal or two to cement her status as a visible and well known athlete in this country. Shaun White did just that in the last Olympics while skier Bode Miller failed miserably with the same kind of hype as Vonn.