Lindsey Vonn and Her Terrible Crash in Schladming

Lindsey Vonn
Lindsey Vonn
Lindsey Vonn’s crash rocked the FIS ski world. These snow athletes are the best in the world but even they go back and forth over the edge of control. One moment they are in control the next moment they are fighting to regain control. In Lindsey’s case things were going well and before she could do anything it was all over but the helicopter ride to the hospital.

I finally viewed the video of Lindsey Vonn’s crash on YouTube:

Lindsey Vonn — Crash Analysis

Lindsey is skiing well and has a narrow lead at the first split and about one-tenth of a second behind at the second split. However, there is a minor hiccup here and there in the skiing and then at 47 seconds she launches into the air and when she lands, her right leg crumples on impact. The reports have Lindsey tearing her anterior cruciate ligament (ACL), her medial cruciate ligament (MCL), and fracturing her tibia.

The ski then goes off on its own and torques her kneee, spins and tumbles her around, then both of her skis finally release, but the crash has done its damage. I have not seen anyone say with certainty what happened and the type of fracture she received is a lateral tibial plateau fracture which occurs in the upper part of the tibia just below the knee and SportsMD ( says this about this kind of fracture:

How does a tibial plateau fracture occur?

Tibial plateau fractures occur by three main mechanisms. The first is by a medial or lateral based force (such as the so called “bumper fracture” when a car’s bumper strikes the outside of a person’s leg creating a valgus, or inward, force across the knee). The second mechanism is by a pure axial, or compressive force (such as a fall from height). [emphasis added] The third mechanism is by a combination of both axial and medial or lateral directed force.

That is, the impact of Lindsey landing broker her tibia and then the ski caught the edge and torqued her ACL nad MCL apart. When I see the crash that is my overwhelming thought, her tibia breaks and then the rest of the injuries happen. Hard to believe as Lindsey is well-known for her dedication to training and I am sure she is eating well, but that gives one an idea of the forces involved here.

The other possibility is the valgus force, but after watching the video I do not believe that is what happened, it appears she lands and then all support on the right side of her body is gone and she collapses over that lost right leg, but the right leg remains fairly straight, that is it does not appear as if there is any serious sideways forces to the knee at that immediate point.

Lindsey Vonn — the Aftermath

She has a long road ahead of her, especially if she wants to compete in the Sochi Olympics. However, she has the time and resources available to her to make that happen. I assume as soon as she can she will be seeing trainers and therapists to get her going again. Lindsey Vonn is going to amaze people!

Lindsey Vonn — and the Snark

I have seen some very snarky comments about her, read through the YouTube comments after the video I present. I think they are quite uncalled for but I see where they are coming from. Lindsey’s season was one of brash talk about joining the men’s circuit and then mixed results in the women’s racing prior her month break.

Lindsey Vonn — Fierce

Lindsey Vonn is a fierce competitor and this is not going to get in her way and she is also a seasoned skier and I believe she will be quite comfortable getting back into the starting house. Godspeed on yoru recovery Lindsey!

Video courtesy of JonesHighlights via YouTube and photographs courtesy of The Wikipedia Entry on Lindsey Vonn.

Update March 14, 2013 — Replaced the video from the suspended account with the video from Universal Sport’s YouTube account. That one, will not disappear.

Good Stuff!

6 Comments on Lindsey Vonn and Her Terrible Crash in Schladming

  1. I’m going to dispute your use of the word “even”. Elite racers of all kinds stay right at the extreme edges of control at all times. That’s what makes them elite. All it takes is one little glitch – a soft spot, a pebble, a gust of wind, and they go over that edge.

  2. Chris, now that I am home I can explain better. I am attempting to let people understand even the pros get out of control. You know and I know they are skiing at the edge of human ability. If they are pushing their abilities I think people should understand it is okay for them to do likewise. I suppose I could have used better language and say you are restating or stating what I intend here. Thanks for reading and commenting!

  3. I read a story, I think it was from Lito Tejada-Flores, about the head of a ski school. He asked one of his instructors, “when was the last time you fell while skiing?” The guy said “never” or “years and years ago” or something like that.

    The director fired the instructor. His reasoning: If you never fall, you’re never pushing yourself.

  4. I can not agree more with this! I have a similar but different thought going through my head, probably will server as a Last Ride or a Sharp Edge column. It is, that things that make us better often require an act of willpower. I go to the gym and I can crank out 120 watts over 1/2 hour to 40 minutes without willing it. However, in order to get a good workout I have to will myself to greater power output. Same too with my riding, I have to make a very willful act to hurl myself down runs that challenge my ability. Same too with work, relationships etc.

  5. Apparently, the video I had posted is no longer available, I will search out another more official copy of it, the account was unable to make their claim of editorial-news use keep them out of trouble.

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