Lindsey Vonn back on skis 7 months after knee reconstruction

9:07 AM, Sep 2, 2013   |    comments
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PORTILLO, Chile - After many months of rehabilitating her surgically repaired knee, Lindsey Vonn is back on skis. The Olympic gold medalist returned to snow in Portillo, Chile, with hopes of competing in the Sochi Games in six months.

The four-time overall World Cup champion said she felt good after the training session, in which her coach told her to take it slow. Red Bull, one of Vonn's sponsors, released a video Monday of her skiing.

"I can't tell which knee is injured - that's a good sign," she said. "I usually go from zero to a hundred. I'm not good in between so this is going to be a challenge."

In February, Vonn had a horrific crash at the world championships, tearing her ACL and MCL and suffering a fractured tibial plateau in her right knee. She had expected to return to snow in November. Last week she worked out in front of reporters with her Red Bull trainer and said she's 100% physically. She planned to train in Chile with the U.S. women's speed team before returning to Vail, Colo.

Vonn skied for the first time in Portillo, Chile on Saturday after arriving in Santiago earlier in the day. On Sunday she took five runs of easy drills on flat terrain. She hopes to get in some gate training near the end of the two-week camp.

"I had absolutely no fear whatsoever," she said in the video. "I was really excited to get back out there."

She plans to return to competition in time for the women 's World Cup in Beaver Creek, Colo., on Nov. 29-Dec. 1. "I would love to win as many World Cups as possible but my main focus is definitely the Olympics," she told USA TODAY Sports last week. "If I start off slow, it's fine. I want to make sure that by the time I get to Sochi that I'm 100% in those events."

The most successful U.S. women's skier in history, Vonn needs just three World Cup victories to tie Austria's Annemarie Moser-Proll's all-time women's record of 62 World Cup wins.

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