Lindsey Vonn wins bronze in last race of skiing career

United States' Lindsey Vonn smiles in the finish area after the women's downhill race, at the alpine ski World Championships in Are, Sweden, Sunday, Feb. 10, 2019. (AP Photo/Marco Trovati)

ARE, Sweden (AP) - Lindsey Vonn has no regrets about retiring after "pushing through the pain one last time" to win bronze in the final race of her career.

It's a medal that brings Vonn full circle: the American's two silvers at the 2007 worlds on the same course in Are were the first two major championship medals of her career.

Vonn says "every athlete has their own obstacles and I faced mine head on today and I conquered them."

The American skier says winning bronze was "the best I could have done today" because "there's not another gear."

United States' Lindsey Vonn shows her career's medals as she holds a press conference after taking the bronze medal in the women's downhill race, at the alpine ski World Championships in Are, Sweden, Sunday, Feb. 10, 2019. (AP Photo/Gabriele Facciotti)

Vonn will undergo knee surgery for the seventh time when she returns to the United States.

She says "it's not an easy thing to feel your bones hitting together and continue to push through it."

Ilka Stuhec of Slovenia defended her title from the 2017 worlds, finishing 0.23 seconds ahead of Corinne Suter of Switzerland and 0.49 ahead of Vonn.

Lindsey Vonn of the United States celebrates with the dog Lucy after the flower ceremony of the women downhill race at the 2019 FIS Alpine Skiing World Championships in Are, Sweden Sunday, Feb. 10, 2019. (Jean-Christophe Bott/Keystone via AP)


Bode Miller, retired U.S. skier

"There are so many different ways to measure the best of all time and she basically checks every category, winning or being very strong in all five disciplines. Her wins speak for themselves, her longevity, her personality and her everything."


Aksel Lund Svindal, Norwegian skier

"She has a reach that goes beyond just racing and that's something that everyone involved in skiing should be grateful for."


Billie Jean King, U.S. tennis great

"You are a true champion who never quit. Be well, Lindsey, and know that you have given your fans, and most importantly, the next generation of skiers, the gifts of perseverance, athleticism, bravery, and fighting spirit! Here's to the next chapter!"


Corinne Suter, Swiss skier

"She had a wonderful career. She is, and will stay, the 'Speed Queen' forever."


Ragnhild Mowinckel, Norwegian skier

"For sure, she is a living legend. I'm really proud and happy I had the chance to ski with her because she has, for sure, always been somebody you've seen on TV, somebody who you wished you could ski with. Having the opportunity to do that, that's been great."


Gian-Franco Kasper, president of the International Ski Federation

"She will leave a big hole when she leaves but don't forget all the athletes, all the big champions have to finish their careers one day. It's the same with Lindsey. She was one of our really great ambassadors; she did a lot of skiing. She is a PR machine, if you want, for our sport."


Mikaela Shiffrin, U.S. skier

"She's had this amazing, incredible, inspiring career and she's really paved the way in U.S. ski racing — and in ski racing all over the world — but especially in the U.S. for the next generation to come up. We have a lot to be thankful for because of that."


Ester Ledecka, Czech skier-snowboarder

"It's hard to explain how great she is. It's something very unusual in not just the skiing world but the whole sports world, because there are just a few people who are able to compete in the highest level — always top three — for that long time. It's something very unique and very special and that's why I admire her. When I (learned of her retirement plans) this is very sad for me because she is my idol."


Paul Kristofic, U.S. women's head coach

"That never-give-up attitude is something that everyone can take away from. She has created that character and lived it. Those are life lessons that everybody can take. Give it your all and never give up. That's a very strong legacy."


Julia Mancuso, retired U.S. skier

"Lindsey always had that extra gear to put her on the edge where she either won or crashed hard. It's sad to see all those crashes catch up with her and have to end without breaking the record of wins, which we all know she was capable of. She made racing exciting."


PK Subban, Vonn's boyfriend and defenseman for Nashville Predators

"Not only the greatest skier of all time but one of the greatest athletes & olympians EVER!"

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