Lizzy Yarnold: Olympic skeleton champion 'recovering well' from knee surgery

Lizzy Yarnold
Lizzy Yarnold became the first British athlete to defend a Winter Olympic title in Pyeongchang in February

Double Olympic skeleton champion Lizzy Yarnold is "recovering well" from a scheduled knee operation after being diagnosed with a rare joint condition.

Yarnold, who won a gold in South Korea last month, is on crutches after minor surgery earlier in March but expects a return to training in a few weeks.

Yarnold, 29, was told in November she has pigmented villonodular synovitis (PVNS), leading to joint inflammation.

But medics said she could wait until after the Games before an operation.

"The operation went well, which is great, and I'm pleased to have got it out of the way," said Yarnold, who became Britain's most decorated Winter Olympian despite also suffering from a chest infection and vestibular disorder, which has led to dizzy spells while racing.

"I'd always had tightness problems with my left quad and last summer it swelled up unusually. I'm grateful the medical team started investigating and found out about the PVNS.

"It was another health distraction for me but I can't thank the team enough, who monitored everything and operated on me."

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Yarnold retains Olympic skeleton title

Andi Schmid, performance director at British Skeleton, added: "Lizzy is recovering well from her operation and we are looking forward to seeing her back fit to train in a few weeks.

"The medical team were aware of Lizzy's condition prior to the Olympic Winter Games and the situation was managed accordingly after taking specialist advice.

"The health of our athletes is the priority for everyone involved with British Skeleton. Lizzy received the care she needed during the season and will continue to do so during her recovery.

"Lizzy faced a number of challenges on the road to her second Olympic gold medal and this is another example of her mental and physical strength in overcoming what could undoubtedly have been a distraction for her."