ST MORITZ, Switzerland (REUTERS) - American Lindsey Vonn was injured after finishing the World Cup Super G race in St Moritz on Saturday (Dec 9), while Switzerland's Lara Gut crashed halfway down the course.
Vonn, four-time overall World Cup champion and the finest woman skier of her generation, fell to the ground grimacing as she slowed down after the finishing line and she staggered away with what appeared to be either a hip or back injury.
She ended 24th in the field in 1min 4.15sec.
Vonn spent just under an hour in the medical treatment tent before being escorted to a waiting car and driven away. The 33-year-old walked the few metres to the car with great difficulty.
An ambulance was initially called but was not needed.
The United States team said on Twitter that Vonn "compressed her back on the fifth gate, skied through pain but didn't have power to push. She was evaluated by the physio and doctor in the tent. Further information to come".
Gut, recently recovered from a serious knee injury, lost her balance high on the course, fell and flew into the safety netting. She was able to walk away after being disentangled by course officials.
Gut, the overall World Cup winner in 2016 and bronze medallist in the downhill at the 2014 Sochi Olympics, tore an anterior cruciate ligament in her knee at the same venue at the world championships in February.
The race, on a shortened course, was held in difficult conditions and was interrupted several times as wind blew clouds of snow across the course.
Switzerland's Jasmine Flury, who had never previously finished on the podium in a World Cup race, was a surprise winner, starting from 14th, in 1:02.59.
She finished 0.1 of a second ahead of compatriot Michelle Gisin, while Liechtenstein's Tina Weirather was third in 1:02.75.