Lindsey Vonn of the USA competes during the Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cup Women's Giant Slalom on November 24, 2012 in Aspen, Colorado. (Photo by Francis Bompard/Agence Zoom/Getty Images)
Chris Chase, USA TODAY Sports
3:02PM EST November 26. 2012 - Lindsey Vonn was back on the slopes this weekend, finishing 21st in a World Cup giant slalom race in Aspen, days after she was released from the hospital with an intestinal illness.
The Olympic gold medalist and four-time World Cup overall champion opened up about her recent illness in a column in The Denver Post.
She said the intestinal illness that hospitalized her for two nights and sidelined her from skiing for 11 days was "very scary." Doctors gave her powerful painkillers and had to rule out Chrohn's disease, an ailment that would have made it difficult for Vonn to continue competing at the highest level.
Eventually, a cocktail of antibiotics helped fight the illness and put Vonn on the road to recovery.
The process, still ongoing, hasn't been easy, Vonn writes:
After I got out of the hospital, I was getting tired walking down the hall of my condo, let alone walking up a couple stairs. I had to stop every five steps. I felt like I was 100 years old, and I couldn't even think about skiing.
Even when I got better, it took me a long time to build back into training. I started just walking on the treadmill for 10 minutes. I was getting lightheaded doing everything. It was really hard. I felt like, why did I train all summer, and now I'm like this?
Vonn collapsed in exhaustion at the end of her second race Saturday.
"I didn't have the energy I needed to really be competitive," she told reporters. "It's been a real fight to even be able to race today. I didn't have it.