Associated Press, Published February 10 2011
Minnesota's Vonn improves, but world championship ski race status still uncertainGARMISCH-PARTENKIRCHEN, Germany (AP) — Lindsey Vonn's condition has improved following a relapse of concussion symptoms, but the American still isn't sure she'll compete in Friday's super-combined race at the world championships.
Vonn completed a full training run Thursday wearing a puffy white hooded-jacket and blue snow pants to slow her down, while getting just enough speed to see if she had any symptoms. If the downhill portion of the combined event goes well, she might enter the afternoon slalom leg, but that appears unlikely.
"The second I have a headache or focus problems, I'm going to stop," Vonn said. "I want to be really careful from here on out. It's a pretty bad sign that I had symptoms again after the super-G, which means that I'm not recovered yet, so I'm not going to take any chances.
"This is a dangerous downhill, and if I don't feel like I can focus then I'm not going to do it."
Vonn finished seventh in the super-G at world on Tuesday, and said she felt like she was "skiing in a fog." She skipped the opening downhill training session on Wednesday. She suffered the concussion after crashing during a training run last week in Austria.
"I feel better today," Vonn said. "I took yesterday completely off. I did basically nothing. I sat in a dark room and didn't have any stimulation, which is what the doctors told me to do, and today I feel much better."
U.S. women's team head physician William Sterett has been putting Vonn through a series of concussion protocol tests, all of which she has passed.
"I woke up with no headache and I went up and I passed all the tests," Vonn said. "I did a test before I did inspection, and another test before I did the run and I passed both of those, so I decided to do the training run with my clothes — obviously to slow things down for me — but basically just to see if I could compete or do the training run and hold the concentration from the very top to the very bottom. And I felt good. I felt like it was a very good step in the right direction."
Vonn says she will treat the downhill portion of the super-combined race Friday as a training run, and will stop if she feels problems.
Vonn won this season's only super-combined race in December in Val d'Isere, France.
Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.