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Lindsey Vonn Aggravates Knee Injury While Competing in France

Image: Lindsey Vonn Aggravates Knee Injury While Competing in France Lindsey Vonn and boyfriend Tiger Woods leave the finish area during the women's Downhill race of the FIS Alpine Ski World Cup, Dec. 21, 2013.

By Clyde Hughes   |   Tuesday, 24 Dec 2013 08:50 AM

Lindsey Vonn's hopes for defending her Olympic downhill title took a step back when she aggravated her surgically-repaired knee during a World Cup event at Val d'Isere in France.

Saturday's re-injury comes after she partially tore a repaired ligament earlier this fall while training for the 2013 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, the Los Angeles Times reported. The newspaper said Vonn, 29, could not finish the competition because she could not maintain her balance after the injury.

"I didn't hurt myself more than I'm already hurt," Vonn said defiantly after the competition Saturday, according to the Times. "It was a small compression, and it was fully loaded on the right ski and my knee just completely gave out. I tried to pressure the ski again and it gave out again. I had no chance of making that gate, unfortunately."

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"I'm going to stick to a similar plan that I was on before. I just need to be more careful of how many races I do," said Vonn, who will be trying to defend her 2010 Olympic downhill gold medal she won in Vancouver.

Vonn tore two ligaments in the knee during competition earlier in the year, her anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments.

Vonn credited her boyfriend, PGA top golfer Tiger Woods, with helping her stay positive through the rehab process, according to USA Today. The newspaper said Woods attended the ski competition with Vonn.

"Sometimes I get panicky and worried (when a movement didn't feel right) and he's like, 'Calm down you're fine,'" Vonn told USA Today before the competition.

Woods wrote on his blog last week that he was taking a break from golfing to be with his kids and support Vonn's quest to win another gold medal.

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"Having experienced reconstructive surgery on my knee and the ensuing rehab, and the amount of pain associated with it, it's really hard to explain to anybody unless you've been through it," Woods said of Vonn's injury. "And then coming back on it athletically, to trust that it's going to be there, that's a whole different ballgame. I've had my share of experiences in that regard – unfortunately – but I think it helps her in a sense because she can bounce ideas off me about what to expect."

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