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Lindsey Vonn

Alain Grosclaude/Agence Zoom/Getty Images

Lindsey Vonn made a tough but necessary call today.

The skier, who leads the overall World Cup standings and is a four-time overall champion, crashed Saturday in Andorra during a super-G race. Vonn's original X-rays indicated a hairline fracture, where the tibial plateau was stable and would allow her to compete. After placing 13th in an Alpine combined Sunday, however, she traveled to Barcelona and had an MRI and CT scan. The tests revealed she has three fractures in her tibial plateau and would be unable to ski.

Vonn made her decision public via social media Wednesday. "Today I am making the difficult decision to end my season and leave the World Cup circuit due to an injury I suffered last Saturday," the 31-year-old athlete wrote on Facebook and Instagram. "Because I am currently leading the Overall World Cup standings, this is one of the toughest decisions of my career."

As a result of her injury, Vonn's doctors advised she take a break from skiing to prevent more wear and tear on her left knee. "Further damage any of the fragments could result in a serious surgery that would risk my future in ski racing," she said. "With the World Championships in St. Moritz next year and the Winter Olympics in South Korea the following year, I cannot take that risk."

In short, she wrote, "I have made the decision to end my season."

Vonn did her best to find the silver lining in her situation. "I am very proud of what I have been able to accomplish this year: 9 World Cup victories, breaking the World Cup downhill win record, breaking the World Cup Super G podium record, and winning the most World Cup discipline titles—20—of any skier, male or female," she wrote. "While I am confident that I'm making the right decision, it still doesn't make this decision any easier. Thanks to everyone who supported me and stood by me through it all. Best of luck to all the World Cup competitors."

The skier ended her note with a promise: "I'll see you again next year."