TODAY's Takeaway: Vonn pulls out of Olympics, Al reports on polar vortex

Lindey Vonn pulls out of Sochi, Al reports on the polar vortex and Natalie announces her "Shine a Light" cause.

1. News broke this morning that gold medalist Lindsey Vonn will not compete in the upcoming Winter Olympics.

“The reality has sunk in that my knee is just too unstable to compete at this level," said the skier, who underwent major surgery 11 months ago.

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Lindsey Vonn pulls out of Sochi, cites ‘unstable’ knee

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Lindsey Vonn pulls out of Sochi, cites ‘unstable’ knee

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Vonn’s fellow Olympians Evan Lysacek and Shawn Johnson expressed their support soon after the announcement. “My heart is broken for her today,” Lysacek told

2. A blast of arctic air known as the polar vortex plunged temperatures in all 50 states — including Hawaii — below freezing.

3. Al, Natalie and Willie announced the causes they’ll support this year as part of TODAY’s Shine a Light series.

Their goals: to join a USO tour, raise awareness for victims of last year’s Boston Marathon bombing, and renovate a homeless shelter. Follow their progress on our Shine a Light Facebook page.

4. Kathie Lee and Hoda noshed on foods that can help you stay beautiful, according to chef and food writer Candice Kumai.

And that’s TODAY’s Takeaway!