Lindsey Vonn, downhill ski racer, has struggled with many injuries throughout her athletic career, but this one may have just fast-tracked her to forced retirement. After clipping a gate and not being able to use her injured knee to get back into position, Vonn was unable to finish her race at the recent World Cup in Italy. She told reporters that the race could have possibly been her last time competing but was too emotional to make any final decisions. Lindsey has already had four surgeries on her right knee, has no LCL on her left knee, and wears two knee braces.

Vonn feels as though she doesn’t know how much more her body can take. It is hard work being an athlete and many careers end early due to physical strain and injuries that are usually very sudden. Lindsey has been known as the greatest women’s skiing in World Cup history. Having an “obstacle possibly too great to overcome” for an athlete with that title is very difficult face. It means that doing what you love may not be an option anymore. It is important to note that career ending injuries are often traumatic, life-changing events for elite-level athletes.