Interview With Olympian Lindsey Vonn

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WH: This will be your third Olympics. What are your goals this time around?

LV: Since I don't have an Olympic medal yet, my goal is just to bring home one—I don't care what color it is!

You were hospitalized briefly after a crash at the 2006 Olympics, but still went on to compete the next day. How do you get yourself back out there after a scary fall like that?

I was in the hospital, and Picabo Street, who was my idol growing up, was by my side. We were both crying. I was so scared that I wouldn't be able to ski again. It made me realize how important skiing is to me—I really just couldn't picture my life without ski racing. So once I found out that nothing was broken, I was able to work through the pain and return. It was really a breakthrough moment for me.

What songs get you pumped up for a race?

"Sweet Dreams," by Beyonc?
Anything on Tha Carter III, by Lil' Wayne
"Dead and Gone," by T.I.
"Empire State of Mind," by Jay-Z
"Poker Face," by Lady Gaga

How do you deal with the stress of it all?

Skiing is what I love, so even though there seems to be a lot of pressure and expectations, I still get to just be out there on the snow every day. I'm pretty lucky. I also have a great team to support me—especially my husband. He knows how to calm me down when I'm getting overwhelmed, probably better than I would know how to myself!

Your husband, Thomas, a former Olympic skier, helps manage your training and sponsorships. Is it ever hard to balance working together and being married?

It was probably harder at first, but we learned to communicate really well. We just throw everything out there. If he's annoying me with some noise he's making, we'll talk about it!

People tease us for how we bicker like an old married couple, but we also never end up being mad at each other because it's up front and we just have a playful relationship. Having him there has made everything so much easier. I can trust him, and he can tell me exactly what I need to do and not worry about sugarcoating it. He knows I won't fire him for being honest!

How do you keep motivated during tough training days?

I make a goal for every time I'm out there, whether it's in the gym or on the snow. Sometimes it might be to ski faster than the boys; sometimes it's to do a set better or with more weight than before. I break it down into smaller challenges to keep it fun and focused. I also have trainers standing there who will make sure I stay motivated whether I like it or not!
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