May 28, 2018

Emotional moment as Lindsay Vonn is asked about grandfather

10 February 2018, 11:10 | Melvin Schneider

Emotional moment as Lindsay Vonn is asked about grandfather

Emotional moment as Lindsay Vonn is asked about grandfather

That was on January 19, when Vonn was second and Shiffrin third in a downhill at Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy. In her left hand, she squeezes a ball of rolled-up tissues. Vonn won an impressive four World Cup overall championships. Still, ski racing is an inherently unsafe sport.

Two days before Grandpa Don died, Vonn spoke to him for the last time.

I want so badly to do well for him, and I miss him so much.

Vonn is aggressive, and at her age she is an absolute beast, a force to be reckoned with.

On any other day, Vonn would be the picture of grit, defiance and unwavering confidence.

"I obviously have been waiting a very long time for these Olympics", Vonn said. She does not pretend to be glamorous, although she will dress the part if required. If she pulls it off, she won't have her talent to thank. Her voice cracked. She told stories about her grandfather coming home on sweltering summer afternoons covered in sweat, grease and a smile. It's because of him that it is in our family.

When asked how she felt, Shiffrin did not know how to respond, having not yet had a moment to process her emotions.

Outside of her Olympic career, she has been nothing short of spectacular. Vonn is known for her love for speed, but she has multiple wins in all five disciplines. Lucy, her Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, snoozes on her lap.

It was her last visit with her grandfather. She struggles to talk about him without her eyes watering. Ever since my first injury, my goal has always been to come back stronger than I was before.

After a lot of physical therapy, I was able to ski again.

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"When I'm on the hill, no one can touch me. I feel closer to him when I'm skiing", she said in a CNN interview. 'I'm skiing exceptionally well and I have a lot of confidence. I will race for you in Korea and I will try as hard as I can to win for you. My physical therapist, Lindsay Winninger, would drag me out of bed when I didn't feel like I could do it. "We made it! It took exactly 24 hours... but we are here!"

Even after fulfilling her media obligations, Shiffrin did not have much time to celebrate. I wish you hadn't said it.

Vonn also still has hopes of racing against men. She even threw up prior to several races for the first time in her career. Her Olympic plan will evolve, depending on how well Shiffrin holds up physically and mentally as competition during the Games unfolds. Then she struck gold in Vancouver.

Vonn also is still in the hunt to break Stenmark's record and thinks she can exceed it next season. A tour through Vonn's house is like walking through a ski museum.

In the meantime, she has medals to win. But she hasn't slowed down a bit, only working harder than she ever has.

"I'm just going to lay it all out there". That's your legacy. That's what people will remember. "As a representative of the Olympic host country, I want to have my best race".

"When I warm up in the morning, I need to warm up my knee first for 15 minutes, then I have to bike and have to stretch", she said. "I've never been in this for second place".

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