2010 Winter Olympics: Lindsey Vonn Breaks Finger, May Miss Final Race

Ash MarshallSenior Analyst IFebruary 24, 2010

WHISTLER, BC - FEBRUARY 24:  Lindsey Vonn of the United States competes during the Ladies Giant Slalom first run on day 13 of the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics at Whistler Creekside on February 24, 2010 in Whistler, Canada. Vonn fell on her run and is out of the competition.  (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)
Clive Rose/Getty Images

US skier Lindsey Vonn broke her pinky finger today after skiing off the giant slalom course and into a safety fence, and she is now doubtful to compete in Friday's slalom.

Vonn, who already has a gold and a bronze medal from these Olympic Games, has a non-displaced fracture on her right hand, basically meaning that the broken pieces are still in alignment rather than out of line.

It is good news in terms of helping her recovery, but it is not too great for the rest of the Games. It's not just a bruise or a sprain, but a break.

The one positive thing is that—even if she can't compete—she has made it through four of the five events. When she landed in Vancouver 10 days ago with a bruised right shin, there was a doubt whether she would even be able to compete at all.

Jim Moeller, the chief medical officer of the U.S. Olympic Team, said Vonn has not made a decision on competing on Friday yet.

Vonn, who is from Vail, Colo., did not finish her first giant slalom run as she skied off the course after building up a lead of 0.35 seconds after the third timing position. 

Visibility was not fantastic and the slalom course was not as smooth as it could have been, but Vonn—an experienced skier—should still have been able to handle the conditions.

Immediately after the event, Vonn said: “The course is breaking up at the bottom. I got a little bit too inside and lost my outside ski. My knee came up and hit my chin. I got all tangled up and hit the fence. I hurt my finger and need to get it x-rayed.”

American teammates Sara Schleper, Julia Mancuso, and Megan McJames completed their first of two runs with times of  1:16.19, 1:16.42, and 1:18.30, respectively.

Heading into the Olympics, Team USA fans were saying that Vonn just couldn't get a break. She finally has, literally speaking, and it may spell the end of her trip in Vancouver.