Lindsey Vonn expected to return to World Cup competition in Italy

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Lindsey Vonn (Getty Images)

Lindsey Vonn will make her World Cup debut in Italy on Jan. 18.

Originally Vonn was going to make her return this weekend in Austria, but heavy snowfall delayed the World Cup downhill event and super-G to the following weekend in Cortina d’Ampezzo.

The three-time Olympian, 34, has been sidelined with a knee injury after she took a nasty fall during training in November. She hyperextended her knee and sprained a ligament, delaying her farewell tour from skiing.

It will be Vonn’s first event of the season. She’s expected to compete in a downhill event on Jan. 18, another downhill race Jan. 19 and the super-G on Sunday.

A lot is on the line for Vonn, who has 82 World Cup wins. The current record holder is Swedish skier Ingemar Stenmark, who has 86 wins.

Despite the desire to be the record holder, Vonn said she doesn’t want to focus solely on that in her last year of professional skiing before she retires at the end of the season.

“The record won’t define me, whether I get it or not,” Vonn told The Associated Press. “I don’t need 87 wins to be able to continue the work of my foundation, to help kids, inspire people to be healthy and active and be positive and strive to reach their dreams and goals. I don’t need that record to accomplish those things. Once I retire, 87 won’t really matter anymore.

“It’s not going to change the way I leave the sport.”