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Lindsey Vonn's last appearance of an all-too-brief season came at Val d'Isere shortly before Christmas.
Lindsey Vonn's decision to call time on her almost-year long fight to be fit for the Sochi Winter Olympics was a disappointing conclusion to her efforts.
Understandably "devastated," the 2010 Olympic downhill champion and super-G bronze medalist described in a statement on her Facebook page how "the reality has sunk in that my knee is just too unstable to compete at this level."
Vonn originally injured her knee at the start of last year's World Championships in Schladming, Austria. Having embarked on a lengthy rehabilitation process, she was back in training with the U.S. ski team by late summer.
Despite hurting her knee again ahead of her planned return at the U.S. resort Beaver Creek meet in late-November, Vonn was back in action at Canada's Lake Louise within a couple of weeks. There she recorded a spirit-lifting fifth place finish in the super-G.
The incident on her downhill run at Val d'Isere just prior to Christmas, which would lead to the 29-year-old's season coming to an end, appeared somewhat innocuous at first. She appeared to lose balance after rounding a corner but stayed on her skis, albeit at the expense of her race—as seen on the FIS YouTube page's highlights at the 1:46 mark.
Vonn revealed afterward her problematic right knee had given way, telling BBC Sport "my knee is loose and it's not stable, and that's the way it's going to be from here on out."
Hopes that careful management and race selection would see her through to Sochi have unfortunately not worked out.
High-profile United States teammates of Vonn's have had frustrating spells of their own, though through matters of form rather than fitness.
Bode Miller sat out last season's World Cup as he rested his surgically repaired left knee. He told SportsIllustrated.com last January, "I am super motivated to do great things next year."
The possibility for such achievements remain alive, but results have largely eluded him for the time being on his comeback. The exceptions being second in December's giant slalom at Beaver Creek and a decent fifth in downhill at Val Gardena/Groden later that month.
While Miller has at least been in contention on occasion (and is eighth in the overall standings), his fellow one-time Olympic champion Julia Mancuso has endured a fruitless couple of months with not a single podium place to speak of.
As pointed out by The Denver Post's John Meyer, the absence of Vonn will allow Mancuso to step into more of the limelight (should she so desire). But doing so successfully will require her stepping up in a campaign that has so far flattered to deceive.