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Petra Vlhova suffers season-ending knee injury in giant slalom fall

Petra Vlhova

COURCHEVEL, FRANCE - DECEMBER 21: Petra Vlhova of Team Slovakia takes 1st place during the Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cup Women’s Slalom on December 21, 2023 in Courchevel, France. (Photo by Christophe Pallot/Agence Zoom/Getty Images)

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Olympic slalom gold medalist Petra Vlhova suffered a season-ending tear of at least one right knee ligament in a giant slalom fall on Saturday.

“I’m positive I can handle the situation,” Vlhova said in a statement released by her team. “I will fight for the earliest possible comeback.”

Vlhova, racing in her home country of Slovakia, slipped coming around the ninth gate of her first run, then fell.

Her momentum took her sideways toward fencing on the side of the course. After coming to a stop, she sat up slightly on her side before being helped.

She was taken off the hill in a sled, waving to spectators when she passed near the finish area.

Vlhova, 28, has 31 World Cup race wins and shared slalom supremacy with Mikaela Shiffrin over the last several years.

Olympic GS gold medalist Sara Hector of Sweden later won the two-run race by 1.52 seconds over Shiffrin, the largest women’s GS margin of victory since February 2004.

Shiffrin earned her 149th career World Cup podium, moving six shy of the record held by Swede Ingemar Stenmark, who raced in the 1970s and ‘80s. Last season, Shiffrin broke Stenmark’s career World Cup wins record of 86. Shiffrin now has 94 wins.

The women race a slalom in Jasna on Sunday, airing on skiandsnowboard.live for subscribers.

ALPINE SKIING: Full Results | Broadcast Schedule

The Associated Press contributed to this report.