The US medal count in the Vancouver Winter Olympics, the opening ceremonies for which are tomorrow, apparently rest on the salvific properties of Austrian cheese. Specifically topfen, a curd cheese that is similar to German quark. Lindsey Vonn, the American skiier who is a heavy favorite in 3 of the 5 alpine skiing events–including the downhill–sustained a severe shin bruise last week in training. Since then, she's been using all available methods to rehabilitate her leg so that she can still race. Including applying the cheese to her shin.

“I put cheese on it to try to take the swelling out,” said Vonn. Vonn races in the first ladies' training run of the Olympics today, which should give some indication whether Austrian cheese has a medical future. No word on how Vonn came up with this as a therapeutic measure, or why Vonn has so far preferred cheese to X-rays–or painkillers. Maybe she's got a thing about cheesecake, which is a slightly more traditional use for topfen.

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