Lindsey Vonn has a message for her fans: Don't lose faith in your dreams, fight for what you love, and never give up.
Vonn shared that encouragement in a heartfelt Facebook message announcing her retirement Friday morning.
"After many sleepless nights, I have finally accepted that I cannot continue ski racing," Vonn said in a post on her Facebook page.
The three-time Olympic medalist said her final races will be the Downhill and Super-G at the World Championships next week Åre, Sweden. That competition begins Monday, Feb. 4 -- the racing begins with the women's Super-G on Tuesday -- and runs through Feb. 17. The women's downhill is scheduled for Feb. 10.
Vonn said her decision comes following years of injuries and surgeries, including a surgery she underwent last spring to remove a large portion of cartilage that had delaminated from her bone.
Vonn said she has endured multiple crashes over the years, including one last November at Copper Mountain while training for the World Cup speed races in Lake Louise, Canada. Vonn said she tore her LCL and sustained three fractures in that crash. She was unable to compete in those races as a result.
"Despite extensive therapy, training and a knee brace, I am not able make the turns necessary to compete the way I know I can," Vonn wrote. "My body is broken beyond repair and it isn't letting me have the final season I dreamed of. My body is screaming at me to STOP and it’s time for me to listen."
Vonn went on to say she hopes she can ski with her kids one day.
"Even knowing what lies ahead for my body, it has still been worth it," the Facebook post says. "I have always worked hard, fought back and dealt with whatever comes my way because I simply love skiing."
Vonn has had 82 World Cup wins, 20 World Cup titles, three Olympic medals and seven World Championship medals.
"Please let my story be of comebacks, victories and even injuries, but do not tell my story as one of failures or unreached goals," she wrote.
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