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BREAKING NEWS

Alpine skiing - Vonn retiring to avoid 'ruining' her body

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ARE, Sweden (Reuters) - American Lindsey Vonn says she would not risk "ruining her body" to overtake Swede Ingemar Stenmark's record 86 World Cup wins, but still hopes to go out in style at the world championships.

The 34-year-old Vonn, who has 82 World Cup victories, races in Are on Tuesday in the super-G having announced she will be retiring after the championships.

"If it were one more World Cup win that I needed maybe I'd keep going but at this point I don't think I can ski the way I need to win races and for me it's not worth ruining my body for five more wins," she told Eurosport.

Vonn, who in 2010 became the first American woman to win an Olympic downhill gold, has battled knee injuries throughout her career and said last week she was calling it a day.

"The reason why I decided to retire is because I can't ski the way I want to ski anymore," she said.

"I think I can maybe pull something off here at the World Championships, my last races, but to consistently train and race my knees are just not able to handle it anymore.

"My right knee from the cartilage that I had taken out in the spring and then my left knee I have no LCL (lateral collateral ligament) and I'm wearing two braces.

"I can't train, I can barely do anything on the mountain. So it's a tough decision to be in. But I'm thinking I'm making a smart decision for my future."

(Writing by Martyn Herman, editing by Ed Osmond)

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