Lindsey Vonn's rib 'pops out' in training run for final career race this Sunday

Everyone knew this would be tough.

Lindsey Vonn is skiing in the final competition of her career following her retirement announcement last week. In her Facebook post she said her “body is broken beyond repair” and in her final runs at the 2019 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in Are, Sweden, she’s still fighting body and mountain.

Vonn, 34, skied an abbreviated Alpine Super combined downhill course, as did all competitors due to visibility, as a training run and will take the final run of her career this weekend.

Vonn: ‘My rib kind of popped out’

Vonn, sporting the No. 1 bib, was back on the mountain Friday after crashing in the final super-G of her career earlier in the week. She raced with a black eye and fought through the pain, including a late-breaking issue.

“Two or three minutes before in the starting gate, my rib kind of popped out,” Vonn told NBC Sports’ Andrea Joyce. “I definitely did not push hard out of the start, and the upper part [of the course] was kind of weird.

“In general, I think the bottom was really good and I’m glad I was able to get back out there today.”

She told the Associated Press the rib issue affects “moving in general,” but that since she’s had rib problems in the past she can “fix it before I have to ski.”

Vonn skied the eighth-fastest time in the first leg of a two-race event. Her time of 1:13.43 is .72 seconds behind the leader. She will not ski the slalom portion as she used the first leg as a warm-up for the women’s downhill race Sunday after taking a crash into the fence earlier this week.

“Everything is so stiff,” Vonn told NBC Sports. “My right side, I landed on my arm and my face, and my left side I ran into the fence. I got in the hot tub a bit, got a lot of massage work.

“Thankfully my legs feel decent, minus my knees.”

Vonn is skiing after a preseason injury in November to her knee and further injury during what was her season-opener in January. She’s had six knee surgeries.

Vonn’s will ski final race in front of legend

Vonn will take her final competitive run down the mountain Sunday morning in the women’s downhill event at the world championships.

She will retire as the most successful female skier in world history, currently with 82 World Cup victories. The mark is four behind male Swedish racer Ingemar Stenmark, who Vonn has convinced to attend her last race, per the Associated Press.

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Lindsey Vonn through her career
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Lindsey Vonn through her career
A smiling Lindsey Vonn talks with reporters after finishing with the best time for the training run of the women's World Cup downhill in Aspen, Colorado December 6, 2007. REUTERS/Mark Leffingwell (UNITED STATES)
Lindsey Vonn from the U.S. skis during the second training of the Women's World Cup Downhill in St. Anton December 19, 2007. REUTERS/Dominic Ebenbichler (AUSTRIA)
Lindsey Vonn of the U.S. reacts in the finish area during the women's Alpine skiing World Cup downhill in Cortina, northern Italy, January 19, 2008. Vonn won the race ahead of Anja Paerson of Sweden and Emily Brydon of Canada. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi ( ITALY )
Switzerland's Catherine Borghi is sprayed with champagne at the finish area during the women's Alpine Skiing World Cup downhill race in the Swiss mountain resort of Crans-Montana March 8, 2008. Borghi placed thirty-ninth in the last race of her career, while Lindsey Vonn of the U.S. won the race ahead of Austria's Renate Goetschl and Nadia Fanchini of Italy. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann (Switzerland)
Lindsey Vonn of the U.S. holds the women's World Cup overall trophy as she poses for the photographers on the podium during the World Cup Alpine ski finals in Bormio March 16, 2008. Vonn won ahead of Nicole Hosp of Austria and Maria Riesch of Germany. REUTERS/Stefano Rellandini( ITALY )
Lindsey Vonn from the U.S. takes a jump during a practice for the women's Alpine Skiing World Cup downhill race in Altenmarkt-Zauchensee January 16, 2009. REUTERS/Dominic Ebenbichler (AUSTRIA)
Lindsey Vonn of the U.S. shows her gold medal during the medal ceremony after winning the women's Super G event at the Alpine Skiing World Championships 2009 in the French resort of Val d'Isere February 3, 2009. REUTERS/Dominic Ebenbichler (FRANCE)
Lindsey Vonn from the U.S. looks at the scoreboard after she missed a pole during the women's Alpine Ski World Cup slalom race in Ofterschwang March 7, 2009.Sandrine Aubert from France won the race ahead of Frida Hansdotter from Sweden and Austria's Nicole Hosp. REUTERS/Michael Dalder (GERMANY)
Lindsey Vonn of the U.S. celebrates her overall Alpine Ski World Cup trophy on the podium after the women's giant slalom race at the Alpine Skiing World Cup Finals in Are March 14, 2009. REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay (SWEDEN)
U.S. skier Lindsey Vonn turns past a gate during training for the women's World Cup downhill alpine skiing race in Lake Louise, Alberta, December 1, 2009. REUTERS/Mike Blake (CANADA SPORT SKIING)
Lindsey Vonn of the U.S. competes during the women's World Cup super-combined race in the Swiss mountain resort of St. Moritz January 29, 2010. REUTERS/Dominic Ebenbichler (SWITZERLAND - Tags: SPORT SKIING)
Gold medalist Lindsey Vonn of the U.S. holds up her country's flag as she celebrates winning the women's Alpine Skiing Downhill race at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics in Whistler, British Columbia, February 17, 2010. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger (CANADA)
U.S. skier Lindsey Vonn poses with the Gold medal (R) that she won in the women's downhill skiing and the Bronze that she won in the Super-G during the presentation ceremony at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics in Whistler, British Columbia, February 20, 2010. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger (CANADA)
Lindsey Vonn of the U.S. poses with the trophy after winning the women's Alpine Skiing World Cup Super G race in Garmisch-Partenkirchen March 12, 2010. REUTERS/Michaela Rehle (GERMANY - Tags: SPORT SKIING)
U.S. Olympic skier Lindsey Vonn celebrates backstage with her award for best female U.S. Olympic athlete at the 2010 ESPY Awards in Los Angeles, California July 14, 2010. REUTERS/Danny Moloshok (UNITED STATES - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT SPORT SKIING)
Lindsey Vonn from the U.S. jumps during the women's Alpine skiing downhill World Cup race in Altenmarkt-Zauchensee January 8, 2011. REUTERS/Dominic Ebenbichler (AUSTRIA - Tags: SPORT SKIING IMAGES OF THE DAY)
Lindsey Vonn of the U.S. competes during the women's super combined race during the Alpine Skiing World Championships in Garmisch-Partenkirchen February 11, 2011. REUTERS/Dominic Ebenbichler (GERMANY - Tags: SPORT SKIING)
U.S. skier Lindsey Vonn attends a news conference in the Tyrolean ski resort of Soelden October 20, 2011. The alpine ski World Cup opens with a women's and a men's Giant slalom this weekend in Soelden. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger (AUSTRIA - Tags: SPORT SKIING HEADSHOT)
Lindsey Vonn of the U.S. smiles after winning the women's Alpine skiing World Cup super combined race in St.Moritz January 27, 2012. Vonn won the competition ahead of second placed Tina Maze of Slovenia and third placed Nicole Hosp of Austria. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse (SWITZERLAND - Tags: SPORT SKIING PROFILE)
Lindsey Vonn of the U.S. celebrates her 50th World Cup victory together with head coach Alex Hoedlmoser after winning the women's Alpine Skiing World Cup Downhill on the Kandahar course in Garmisch-Partenkirchen February 4, 2012. REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay (GERMANY - Tags: SPORT SKIING TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)
Lindsey Vonn from the U.S. lies in the snow in the finish area after the women's World Cup giant slalom race at the Alpine ski World Cup finals in Schladming March 18, 2012. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger (AUSTRIA)
Lindsey Vonn (R) of the U.S. embraces Laurenne Ross of the U.S. in the finish area after the women's Alpine skiing World Cup Super-G race at the Corviglia in the Swiss mountain resort of St. Moritz December 8, 2012. REUTERS/Michael Buholzer (SWITZERLAND - Tags: SPORT SKIING)
Golfer Tiger Woods arrives with skier Lindsey Vonn at the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute Benefit celebrating the opening of "PUNK: Chaos to Couture" in New York, May 6, 2013. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson (UNITED STATES - Tags: ENTERTAINMENT FASHION SPORT)
U.S. olympic gold medal skier Lindsey Vonn has her picture taken with former U.S. President George W. Bush at the opening ceremony before the opening Four-ball matches for the 2013 Presidents Cup golf tournament at Muirfield Village Golf Club in Dublin, Ohio October 3, 2013. REUTERS/Jeff Haynes (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT GOLF)
Lindsey Vonn of the U.S. smiles after winning the women's World Cup Downhill skiing race in Val d'Isere, French Alps, December 20, 2014. REUTERS/Robert Pratta (FRANCE - Tags: SPORT SKIING HEADSHOT)
Lindsey Vonn of the U.S. holds the Globe after winning the women's World Cup Super G trophy at the Alpine Skiing World Cup Finals in Meribel, in the French Alps, March 19, 2015. REUTERS/Robert Pratta
Olympic skier Lindsey Vonn attends Nickelodeon's "Kid's Choice Sports 2015" in Los Angeles July 16, 2015. REUTERS/Phil McCarten
Lindsey Vonn of the US kisses the winner's trophy following the women's Super G race of the Alpine Skiing World Cup in Zauchensee, Austria, January 10, 2016. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger
Alpine Skiing - FIS Alpine Skiing World Championships - Women's Downhill - St. Moritz, Switzerland - 12/2/17 - Lindsey Vonn of the USA reacts in the finish. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse
Olympic gold medalist skier Lindsey Vonn poses for a portrait in New York City, U.S., November 1, 2017. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri
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Vonn’s suit this weekend has blue and yellow trim for Stenmark. She first set out to break his record before retiring, but injuries infiltrated the plan. She told the AP she was texting him and begging him to be at the race:

“Obviously we’re in Sweden but also because of Stenmark and how much he has meant to the sport. It’s something that has motivated me for a long time — his record — so I’m just paying my respects to him and this country.”

The women’s downhill is Sunday at 6:25 a.m. Vonn reiterated to the AP she’s aiming to win in her final race, not just take a celebratory run down the mountain.

“Whether I’m ready or not I’m just going to go full throttle.”

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