On Friday, fans of the Winter Olympics are getting a taste of a brand new event, the final alpine skiing competition of the 2018 games in PyeongChang. It's a new team alpine skiing event, which means a number of high-profile American skiers could conceivably have one more chance to secure a gold medal. As such, plenty of people are probably wondering if Lindsey Vonn's in the 2018 Olympics alpine skiing team event. After all, Vonn has so far failed to claim a gold medal in these Winter Games, despite being considered one of the greatest downhill skiers ever.
Unfortunately for her fans, however, the answer is no. Vonn will not be participating in the team alpine skiing event due to time and scheduling constraints. According to NBC, the World Cup is scheduled to begin in just four days, and it's taking place in Slovenia, which is more than 5,000 miles from South Korea. So some potential competitors are sitting out on one last chance for gold, including names as big as Mikaela Shiffrin and Ted Ligety.
What this means, in simple terms, is that the 33-year-old Vonn will end her 2018 Winter Olympics with just one medal, a bronze that she won in the downhill earlier this week.
That's a far cry from where the expectations were for Vonn heading into the games; it was her fourth Olympics, having previously competed in Salt Lake City in 2002, Turin in 2006, and Vancouver in 2010. It's entirely possible this will be Vonn's last time competing at the Olympic level, although she recently suggested she could possibly return at age 37 in 2022, provided she got successful medical treatment on her knee.
If PyeongChang is indeed the final time she'll ski in the Olympics, she'll finish her career with three medals ― one gold and one bronze in 2010, and one bronze this time around. She missed the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi due to a knee injury.
Vonn will now be moving on, vying to push her number of World Cup victories even higher. At present, Vonn has won 81 World Cup events, and she's just five more wins shy of the all-time record of 86, currently held by Swedish skier Ingemar Stenmark. She notched the 81st win just days before the start of the Winter Games, and she'll be diving right back into the pursuit now that her time in South Korea is at an end.
Vonn has been pretty specific about her desire to claim Stenmark's record, telling reporters that she hopes she can get the six more wins necessary within one more season, but that she'd considering pushing herself through another if that's what it took.
"If for some miracle I make it to after next season then maybe I would consider continuing on, it all depends on my health," Vonn said, according to Reuters. "You can guarantee that I am going to continue fighting until I get that record." As for the Olympics, however, her time on the global stage is done, at least for now.
The Olympics themselves will soon be coming to an end, as well. The closing ceremony will be taking place early in the morning of Sunday, Feb. 25, although it won't be broadcast to American TVs until NBC airs it in primetime on Sunday night. If you've been following all the drama, action, and elite athletic competition up until now, there's a pretty good chance you'll want to see the closing ceremony when it airs ― it's scheduled to run at 8:00 p.m. ET on Sunday, or 5:00 p.m. ET for west coast viewers.