Chris Dufresne says put an asterisk next to the name of the Gold medal winner of the downhill, super combined and Super G women's alpine races at the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, because without Burnsville native Lindsey Vonn, the winner will not have truly beaten the best.
Vonn won't participate in the Olympic games because a pair of setbacks to her surgically repaired knee forced her to drop out of the competition.
Dufresne writes that winning Gold in the events Vonn was supposed to race in would be like winning an Olympic sprint event without champion Usain Bolt.
Vonn, who will work stateside as an analyst for NBC, says she might get emotional watching the downhill races.
"I think maybe watch the technical events, but I'm not sure I'll watch the downhill," she told USA Today. "It may be too emotional for me but we'll see. I'm kind of in the process of accepting the fact that I'm not there," she said with heartbreak in her voice. "I think it will still be difficult to watch the events I would be a contender in."
Even though she'll be working with NBC, the network's ratings figure to take a hit without Vonn amongst the competition.
Vonn is the only American woman to capture Gold in the downhill. She did so in Vancouver in 2010, while also collecting a Bronze medal in the super G.