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Lindsey Vonn Retires as One of the Most Decorated U.S. Skiers

Lindsey VonnLindsey Vonn
Lindsey Vonn of USA wins the bronze medal during the FIS World Ski Championships Women's Downhill on Feb. 10, 2019 in Are Sweden.Christophe Pallot—Agence Zoom/Getty Images

In the final race of her career on Sunday, Lindsey Vonn took the bronze medal at the world championships in Are, Sweden.

The win is a special one for Vonn, as she now makes history, being the “winningest female ski racer in the world” and retiring as a heavily decorated U.S. athlete, reports NPR. She has now won medals at six world championships and this was the fifth time winning a downhill medal at a world championship.

“I laid it all on the line. That’s all I wanted to do today,” Vonn said, according to NPR. “I have to admit I was a little bit nervous, probably the most nervous I’ve ever been in my life. I wanted to finish strong so badly.”

Vonn’s retirement after 18 years came about due to several injuries. At the beginning of the month, she announced her retirement on her Instagram page, saying her “body was broken beyond repair.” On Tuesday, she crashed out of the super-G in Are, the fall leaving her a bit bruised.

Vonn’s many wins as she slid down mountains at top speed made her an inspiration for female athletes across the world. But now she’s saying goodbye to the sport as her body begins to heal.

“I’ll miss that wonderful sensation of speed that you can get only by racing down a hill on a pair of skis,” Vonn said at a Swedish news conference, as NPR reports. “I don’t know yet how I will compensate for that, because I won’t be able to do it skiing privately without my ski pass being taken away from me.”