Lindsey Vonn Fails to Medal in Women's Combined at 2018 Olympics

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured ColumnistFebruary 22, 2018

USA's Lindsey Vonn reacts after crossing the finish line in the Women's Alpine Combined Slalom at the Jeongseon Alpine Center during the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang on February 22, 2018.  / AFP PHOTO / JAVIER SORIANO        (Photo credit should read JAVIER SORIANO/AFP/Getty Images)

American Lindsey Vonn failed to medal in the women's Alpine combined final after she missed a gate and could not finish the slalom portion of Thursday's competition at Jeongseon Alpine Centre in Pyeongchang, South Korea.

Vonn logged a first-place time of one minute, 39.37 seconds in the downhill stage and appeared well-positioned to find the podium.

However, her final race at the 2018 Winter Olympics ended in disappointment, as she failed to produce a complete run, much less one that would help her keep pace with far superior slalom skiers like Switzerland's Michelle Gisin and American Mikaela Shiffrin.

Gisin claimed gold with a combined time of 2:20.90, while Shiffrin finished 0.97 seconds back for silver. Switzerland's Wendy Holdener came through with bronze at 2:22.34.

Vonn, 33, has never medaled in the combined event.

Her best finish in the event on the Olympic stage came in 2002, when she placed three spots outside the podium in sixth. At her last Olympics in 2010—she withdrew from the 2014 games because of a knee injuryVonn crashed out of the combined and didn't finish.

However, she did take home three consecutive combined World Cup titles between 2010 and 2012.

Vonn's legacy was already secure, considering she owns three Olympic medals (including bronze in Wednesday's downhill) and pieced together a dominant career on the World Cup circuit in several disciplines.

Vonn's Olympic career is almost certainly over, but she has no intention of retiring from the sport—with the target of Ingemar Stenmark's record of World Cup wins in her sights.

"I am hoping that is just one season. I am not going to quit until I get that record, that is for sure, no matter how much pain I am in," Vonn, who is looking to add six more wins to her current total of 81, told reporters. "But I really hope it only takes one more season because it would be difficult for me to continue on after that.

"If for some miracle I make it to after next season, then maybe I would consider continuing on; it all depends on my health. You can guarantee that I am going to continue fighting until I get that record."

Adding the elusive Olympic combined hardware to her expansive trophy case could have served as a nice sendoff after she confirmed the 2018 games would be her last, but it will not diminish her standing in the sport.