Alpine skiing: Vonn misses St Moritz super-G with back injury

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St. Moritz (Switzerland) (AFP)

American skier Lindsey Vonn pulled out of Sunday's super-G in St Moritz after sustaining a back injury 24 hours previously.

With less than two months to go before the Winter Olympics, Vonn said: "Unfortunately I will not be able to race today. I am extremely disappointed but my biggest goal this season is the Olympics and I need to take care of myself now so I can be ready for next week, and more importantly, for February. As always, thank you for the well wishes."

Her tweet ended with icons of a red heart and hands in prayer.

Vonn explained overnight that she had suffered an "acute facet (spinal joint) dysfunction".

"I got compressed on the 6th gate and my back seized up. Rested and had a lot of therapy tonight."

She added: "Our @usskiteam doctor checked me out and no imaging is needed, just need the joint and the muscles to calm down so I can move again."

After completing Saturday's super-G, 33-year-old Vonn lay down and then struggled to stand up again. Bent over, as if she had pain in the small of her back, Vonn then made her way into a tent reserved for competitors.

Vonn is one of the most succesful skiers in history and has made the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, her priority for the season. The Games begin on February 9.