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Olympics: Vonn tests shins in training run

Lindsey Vonn, of the United States, takes a jump during the downhilll portion of an alpine ski, Women's Super-combined race, in Tarvisio, Italy. AP File Photo/Marco Trovati

WHISTLER, British Columbia (AP) -- Each step was noted with enthusiasm, seen as a sign Thursday that, yes, Lindsey Vonn might very well compete in five Olympic races, might be able to think once again about medals, not medicine.

Painkillers and a Novocaine-like numbing cream for the American's badly bruised right shin? They seemed to dull the aching.

Wearing ski boots, something painful and depressing every time she tried it last week? She yanked them on and did a course inspection.

Actually skiing down a hill for the first time since getting injured Feb. 2, albeit only in a free run and not on the official course? It hurt, sure, but was the most exciting step of all, one that convinced Vonn she was ready to take part in the opening women's Olympic downhill training session later Thursday.

Alas, that practice wound up being called off after only two racers because of thick fog and low visibility -- yet even that development was deemed encouraging by the group known as the Vonntourage.

"I was happy to be back on snow today," said Vonn, who lives and trains in Vail, Colo. "My shin was still very painful, but I feel like the injury is finally progressing a bit. I am always disappointed when a training run is canceled, but in this situation I definitely welcome the extra day to heal."

Indeed, her husband, Thomas, called the cancellation "fantastic."

"It's not like all her competitors are getting multiple runs down the course. Nobody got to ski it, really, today," said Thomas Vonn, who serves as a coach and chief adviser to his wife. "So it's another day of healing, and hopefully tomorrow she feels even better."

He said she still aims to race in all five women's Alpine events, which certainly would be a relief to the U.S. Ski Team, U.S. Olympic Committee and her fans.