Lindsey Vonn will head home for surgery in Colorado next week after tearing two ligaments in her right knee and breaking a bone in her lower leg in a crash at the world championships in Schladming, Austria, on Tuesday.
Vonn said Wednesday that she plans to compete in the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, which start in 12 months. She was released from the hospital late Tuesday and returned to the team hotel.
‘‘I am grateful to my fans for the outpouring of support, which has really helped me stay positive,’’ Vonn said in a statement. ‘‘I will work as hard as humanly possible to be ready to represent my country next year in Sochi.’’
The Olympic downhill champion will have surgery next week in Vail, Colo. Because of intense media attention, neither she nor the US Ski Team would say when she’s leaving Austria.
‘‘She’ll be heading back to Vail [Colo.] and I ’ll be doing surgery on her knee early next week,’’ team physician William Sterett told the Associated Press Wednesday. ‘‘Lindsey is doing well. She’s in good spirits.’’
Sterett would not set a return date to skiing for Vonn until after the surgery, but other doctors believe she will be sidelined for up to eight months.
Vonn wants to be back for the World Cup speed races in Lake Louise, Alberta, in late November or early December, a course she has won 14 times on.
‘‘She’s got her mind-set, she’s going to come back stronger than she was,’’ Alpine director Patrick Riml told the AP. ‘‘She’s got her goal — ‘I'll be back in Lake Louise’ — and Lindsey will do whatever it takes.’’
Vonn tore the anterior cruciate ligament and medial collateral ligament in her right knee and sustained a lateral tibial plateau fracture.
Ligety wins Super G
With Vonn injured and Bode Miller already out for the season, it’s Ted Ligety’s turn to lead the US ski team.
A day after Vonn’s season-ending crash, Ligety showed off his rapidly improving speed skills to win the first Super G of his career in the marquee event of the season.
The timing was not lost on the Park City, Utah, native.
‘‘It’s definitely [tough] losing those teammates that have been so good over so many years and really carried the flag of the US,’’ Ligety said. ‘‘It’s tough losing them, for sure, but it’s an individual sport, too. You’re out there competing for yourself.’’
Building on his giant slalom skills, Ligety surprised even himself Wednesday. He took a lot of risks in the turning final section and mastered the Planai course in 1 minute, 23.96 seconds.
Gauthier De Tessieres of France was 0.20 back in second, and Aksel Lund Svindal of Norway, who won three of the four World Cup Super Gs this season, was another 0.02 back in third.
Sales are down
Despite consumer spending of more than $1 billion in December, nationwide ski equipment and apparel sales for the season were still down 4 percent in units sold and 3 percent in dollars sold compared to November, according to the retail trade group Snowsports Industries America.
“All eyes are on recovery from last season’s difficulties brought on by lack of snow,” SIA explained in a release. “Despite the acceleration in sales late in December, inventories continued to weigh down retailers.”
Such a glut of gear is likely to translate into deeply discounted deals for consumers during the second half of the ski season, when merchants are keen on clearing out stock.
Sugarbush has a $14 lift ticket special on Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14. It’s the same price at Mad River Glen, except you have to kiss your sweetheart at the ticket window to qualify for the reduced rate. Crotched and Ragged also have $14 pricing, provided tickets are purchased online in advance. Bromley and Mount Snow will go with 2-for-$49 tickets (in advance) and corporate partners Wildcat and Attitash will price tickets at 2-for-$63 . . . Waterville Valley has brought back “Temperature Tuesdays.” The resort predicts what the temperature will be at the base lodge when ticket windows open for business on non-peak Tuesdays, and customers pay one dollar per degree (to a minimum of $10) based on that prediction. Waterville is also offering $20 discounts on “Fenway Fridays” to skiers who hit the slopes in Red Sox gear.