Vonn's return delayed after training cancelled
Val-d'Isère (France) (AFP)
Lindsey Vonn's return to the piste after a back injury and a backlash at her anti-Trump comments was put back at least a day after downhill training in Val d'Isere was cancelled Thursday.
Strong winds and heavy snow put paid to any plans the 33-year-old American might have had for refinding her skiing mojo after she was forced to withdraw from last Sunday's St Moritz super-G with a compression of a spinal joint sustained in a race 24 hours previously.
Organisers in Val d'Isere also swapped Sunday's super-G for Saturday's downhill in a bid to be able to run the two races, with better weather expected on the Sunday.
Vonn found herself back in the spotlight this week after making comments about the US government and President Donald Trump which caused a massive backlash, much of it negative.
In a lengthy post on Instagram, Vonn said she had been hurt by some of the responses she had received to comments made in the interview with CNN, insisting her focus would now turn fully on the February 9-25 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang.
"My recent comments opened up my eyes as to how divided we are right now," Vonn wrote.
"It is hurtful to read comments where people are hoping I break my neck or that God is punishing me for being 'anti-Trump'."
Vonn told CNN she would be proud to represent the United States at February's Olympics in Pyeongchang but did not see herself as a representative of the US government.
"Well, I hope to represent the people of the United States, not the president," Vonn said.
"I want to represent our country well. I don't think that there are a lot of people currently in our government that do that."
Asked if she would attend any possible White House reception for the US Olympic team after the Games -- a common tradition -- Vonn replied: "Absolutely not."
Vonn said on Instagram on Tuesday she had grown alarmed at the way the US is perceived around the world.
"I am proud to be an American, and I want our country to continue to be a symbol of hope, compassion, inclusion and world unity," she wrote.
"My travels around the world have recently made clear that this is no longer how people view the United States.
"We need to find a way to put aside our differences and find common ground in communicating. Is it wrong to hope for a better world?
"All of this is much bigger than skiing and the Olympics. I am going to take the next two months to focus on what I can do and right now that is competing for my country. In doing that, I will be hoping that we Americans can still be that 'shining city on a hill'."
Vonn is arguably the most well-known member of the US Winter Olympic team, having won four World Cup overall championships as well as an Olympic gold in the downhill at the 2010 Games.
She missed the 2014 Games through injury, but has transformed herself into one of the most recognisable sportswomen in the world through savvy use of social media, high-profile sponsorship deals and even a relationship with Tiger Woods.
© 2017 AFP