Lindsey Vonn aims for 2014 Winter Olympics return after crash

Olympic champion Lindsey Vonn aims to compete at the 2014 Winter Games in Sochi after a serious crash at the Alpine World Skiing Championships.

Vonn, 28, ruptured cruciate knee ligaments and broke her leg at the Championships in Austria on Tuesday.

The American crashed during the women's super-G event.

"I can assure you that I will work as hard as humanly possible to be ready to represent my country next year in Sochi," she said in a statement.

The Colorado-based skier won gold in the downhill event at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver and also took bronze in the super-G.

I am grateful to my fans for the outpouring of support, which has really helped me stay positive

Lindsey Vonn

She was injured on the opening day of the World Championships, in Schladming, where the first race was delayed by almost four hours because of fog. Officials had then struggled to get the event started because of fading light on the course.

Vonn lost her balance after a jump, landing on her right knee before flipping over and crashing through a gate. She was treated on the course for 12 minutes before being airlifted to hospital.

A statement released on Vonn's behalf by the US Ski Team website read:  "First off I want to say thank you to the amazing medical staff that cared for me.

"I plan on returning to Vail (her Colorado hometown) as soon as I can to have the necessary surgeries.

"I am also grateful to my fans for the outpouring of support, which has really helped me stay positive."

The injury is the latest setback for Vonn, a four-time overall World Cup winner, who had missed several weeks of the season with an intestinal illness in November.

At the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin she suffered a crash in downhill training but came back to compete in four of her five scheduled events, although she failed to recover sufficiently to win a medal.