Olympic medal-winning skier adopts shelter dog with bad knee

When record-setting, Olympic medal-winning U.S. skier Lindsey Vonn was sidelined by a devastating injury in February 2013, suffering a torn ACL while competing at the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in Austria, she vowed to do whatever she could to return to the sport just in time to represent her country in next month’s Winter Olympic Games, set to take place in Sochi, Russia.

Vonn posted news of the adoption on her Twitter page: “Leo brightened my day — adopted him from an animal shelter.”

Then, a few months back, Vonn re-injured that same knee, tearing the repaired ACL again during a speed training session November 19 — a huge blow to the accomplished athlete, who’d spent nearly a year going through surgeries, rehab, and physical therapy, just so she could return to the slopes again. Tuesday, Vonn announced that she would be unable to compete in Sochi, much to her disappointment.

“I’m pretty bummed out,” Vonn told the press after bowing out of the Sochi games.

But rather than allow herself to wallow, Vonn discovered that happiness truly is, as Peanuts comic strip creator Charles M. Schulz once said, “a warm puppy.”

Earlier this week, Vonn stopped by the Furry Friends Adoption and Clinic shelter in Jupiter, Fla., to adopt a new four-legged snuggle buddy, 9-month-old brindle Boxer mix Leo.

Just before Christmas, she and her boyfriend, golfer Tiger Woods, walked through the same Florida shelter, hoping to find the perfect dog for their family. While Tiger had his eye on a different dog, WPBF 25 News reports, Vonn says she knew Leo was the one for her. After all, she and Leo have something in common.

“He has a bad knee, just like me,” Vonn tells WPBF 25 News of her new best friend.

Leo sustained a serious leg injury when he was hit by a car as a puppy, leaving him with some residual problems. Before taking Leo home, Vonn spent time talking to Furry Friends veterinarian Dr. Todd Vinoski about her new dog’s knee injury.

“She is going to take him to another orthopedic surgeon and see what can be done further for him,” Dr. Vinoski explains.

“I just want him to be safe,” Vonn said of Leo as the pair left the clinic for Vonn’s Seminole Landing home.

It looks like Vonn and Leo will get to rest, go through rehab, and recover together.

At the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver, Vonn won the Downhill gold medal, and the Super-G bronze medal.

Source: WPBF 25 News, GrindTV