- Jim Caple, Senior Writer, ESPN.com
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PARK CITY, Utah -- There were a couple bits of interest that came out of Lindsey Vonn's teleconference at the Olympic media summit Wednesday.
The most important is that Vonn says her right knee feels great and she could be healthy enough to race when the World Cup season opens at the end of October in Solden, Sweden. If not then, she definitely plans to compete at the World Cup race in Beaver Creek, Colo., at the end of November.
Her other interesting response was when she said she was speaking from Ohio. Ohio? What mountains are in Ohio? Oh, wait. That's right. Tiger Woods is competing in the Presidents Cup there this week. Vonn did not mention Tiger by name, but did say "my boyfriend" had provided a lot of support during her rehabilitation after knee surgery.
There are no reporters from the National Enquirer at the media summit, so there were no questions about Vonn's relationship with Tiger. Instead, the focus was on her return from February's devastating knee injury. Vonn crashed in a race and tore her right ACL and MCL, and she also fractured a bone in her lower right leg.
"My knee is great," Vonn said. "It has no pain, no swelling. ... I'm definitely quite a bit further along than I anticipated, or anyone else anticipated. The surgery was very successful."
Vonn said the key remaining issue in her recovery is getting prepared to push her knee to the limit in a race.
"I don't have any trust issues. I trust my knee is 100 percent. It's just that I haven't pushed my knee to 100 percent yet; I haven't tried it in a race," Vonn said. "That's as much mental as anything else. I have to be in that racing mindset. But it's not that I'm doubtful or don't trust my knee or body. ... There are other athletes who don't trust their knee [after injury], but that's definitely not me."
Vonn said she did not completely rule out competing in slalom sometime this season, but added it is unlikely due to the stress on her knee.
"I'm definitely more excited to be back on skis than I normally am," Vonn said. "I haven't raced since February when I crashed, so the excitement has increased since being injured. But I am someone who thrives on chaos. I need a lot going on. I need to be skiing and training."
That is certainly true. There is always drama around Vonn, even before she and Tiger started dating. She had to be airlifted off a mountain following a training-run crash at the 2006 Olympics in Torino. She resorted to placing layers of a rare cheese on a severely bruised shin to help it heal at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver. She fought off severe flu early last season and then shredded her knee in February.
Yet there isn't much that stops her for long. So what if she completely shredded her knee just eight months ago? She is looking to make Sochi her fourth Olympics, and ahead of schedule.
"I'm going in as the defending champ in the downhill," Vonn said. "I'm coming back from knee surgery and I still have a lot of expectations, both that I put on myself and what everyone else puts on me."