Nightly News   |  December 21, 2013

Lindsey Vonn has another setback on the slopes

The Olympic champion, who hopes to win again in the upcoming games, is forced to drop out of a race because of her troublesome right knee. NBC’s Mike Taibbi reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> a new setback today for lindsay vaughan , the american skiing champion who's hoping for more olympic gold in this winter's sochi games in less than 50 days. it happened in a world cup downhill race in france when her troublesome right knee gave way and forced her to ski off the course. here's nbc's mike tahiti.

>> reporter: in the middle of the race skiing well, lindsay vaughan 's surgically repaired right knee suddenly buckled. she lifted her left leg and glided past the gate. headed for the nearest safety net and with boyfriend tiger woods looking on pulled herself upright in obvious pain.

>> my right knee just didn't hold up. just gave out.

>> reporter: and then something ominous.

>> am i suffering in i have no acl so, you know, it's -- yes, i am -- i guess i'm suffering a little bit.

>> reporter: no acl , not just a partial tear as had been reported following her wipeout ten months ago in austria. the acl , the anterior cruciate ligament is one of the four main cables needed to stabilize the knee.

>> we all thought before there was some acl left. so we now know that there wasn't.

>> reporter: it's seven weeks to sochi now. vaughan 's plan is to return with woods to her colorado home base and hope the diagnosis allows her to resume her olympic preps. she had been doing well drawing lock stock support as she always does and in canada two weeks ago logging finishes, 40th, 11th. she has the will.

>> short of anything being damaged further, she's going to compete.

>> reporter: but even vaughan concedes luck will have to bail her out posting on her facebook page, i'm fighting as hard as i can but skiing with no acl is harder than i expected. fingers crossed.

>> my knee just gave out, that's all.

>> reporter: it was a tough day for the entire american's team. four racers didn't finish. one who did came in dead last and their leader, their gold-plated champion, may have seen her own dreams of repeat glory collapse. mike taibi, nbc