Lindsey Vonn Sits Out Sochi: Gold Medalist 'Devastated' To Miss 2014 Olympic Games

Olympic gold medal skier Lindsey Vonn will not be making the trip to Sochi to compete in the 2014 Winter Olympic games.

After re-injuring the ACL in her right knee in a training crash in November, Lindsey was later cleared to train in early December. Vonn placed fifth in the opening Audi FIS Alpine World Cup super G at Lake Louise but suffered another race injury in Val d'Isere, France on Dec. 21. Lindsey has determined that this injury will make it impossible for her to recover enough to compete in the Sochi Games.

"I am devastated to announce that I will not be able to compete in Sochi," Vonn said in a release from the US Ski Team (the comments also appeared on the Lindsey Vonn Facebook page).

"I did everything I possibly could to somehow get strong enough to overcome having no ACL but the reality has sunk in that my knee is just too unstable to compete at this level," Lindsey added.

Vonn said the positive takeaway is that it opens up a spot on the roster for one of her teammates to "go for gold."

Reuters' Alan Baldwin' sentiments differed slightly from Lindsey Vonn's, calling her absence "a gaping hole in the Olympic schedule."

"Lindsey Vonn's withdrawal from next month's Winter Olympics has deprived the Sochi Games of arguably the most famous face in the blue riband event of Alpine skiing," he says.

Mikaela Shiffrin, the teenage slalom phenom, is now believed to be the best hope for the U.S. team to take home women's Alpine gold. Shiffrin called Vonn a "true hero" on Twitter.

"It's hard to swallow that @lindseyvonn won't be competing in Sochi, but I'm incredibly impressed at her determination," Shiffrin said.

Vonn said she will undergo surgery as soon as possible in order to compete at the 2015 World Championships in Vail, Colo. She thanked all her fans for the love and support and made it clear she'll be cheering on Team USA.

How devastating is the news of Lindsey Vonn skipping the Sochi games? Do you think Lindsey Vonn will return to the Olympic slopes in four years?