Vonn, one of the most decorated female skiers in history, gave an exclusive interview to Eurosport’s Ski Pass TV Show this week in New York.
She also talks about her motivation to remain as the world’s number one skier and the loneliness that comes with being at the top of the sport.
Lindsey also speaks about her divorce last year from Thomas Vonn and her resulting new found mainstream media profile in the USA.
Watch the Ski Pass Show at 08:30 or 11:30 on Saturday on British Eurosport.
Ski-Pass: “You have been making the front and back pages because you wanted to race against the men in Lake Louise. Why do you want to race against the men?
Lindsey: “Well, it doesn’t really matter now does it? But,…yeah, I really wanted to race with the men as it’s a goal that I’ve always had. I guess it has been a more realistic goal the last couple of years, but unfortunately the FIS said that a woman is not allowed to race on the men’s tour, it has nothing to do with safety. It has to do with the fact that I’m a woman. I was very disappointed with that decision and I’m not going to stop trying. It’s something that I’m going to continue to push for. I’m just trying to explore right now how I can continue this effort. If I need to go to court or if I need to file some sort of petition. You know, I’m not exactly sure right now, but I’m talking with some people and trying to figure out what I can do."
Ski Pass: “What do you have to say to those people who say that this was only a “media thing”?
Lindsey: “They will see. You know, I’m consulting with lawyers right now, I’m investing a lot of time and effort into this, and it has nothing to do with the media. I don’t need extra media attention! It has absolutely nothing to do with it. This is a personal goal of mine, and I want to see where I stand against the men. It’s the next level, you know. I have so much respect for the men, for what they are doing, how far they are pushing our sport and how strong they are, and how dynamic they ski. That’s the way I want to ski. I want to push myself to that level, and his is the next step for me. That’s all! It’s pretty simple actually.”
Ski Pass: “What’s the hardest part of being number one?”
Lindsey: “Hmm, I think the hardest part of being number one is staying there, and finding the motivation to continue to work hard. I mean, sometimes, I feel like, when you have success, you sometimes get complacent, and it’s hard to continuously have that motivation every single day. It’s challenging, and I’m always trying to ski faster, and that’s what keeps me going.”
Ski Pass: “Is it lonely?”
Lindsey: “Yes, it’s definitely lonely. I was lucky last year to have my sister travelling with me for a couple of races and she’s actually going to be with me on the World Cup this year for the whole season so that’s going to help. But it’s definitely lonely at the top. No one really wants to be your friend, it’s a difficult situation but I feel like I’m also very lucky too. My team mates are supportive and especially last year with all my personal troubles, everyone stood behind me. It’s tough, but you know, life is tough, you just have to keep going.”
Ski Pass: “Last year you also had a huge challenge in your personal life. You divorced your husband at the beginning of the season.”
Lindsey: “I feel like skiing has always been my "happy place" where I feel the most…..at home. I feel like I’m at peace on the mountain.”
Ski Pass: “You’re used to getting attention because you ski well and suddenly you get another type of press giving you attention with speculations on your personal life and so on.”
Lindsey: “It was difficult, I wasn’t used to that type of media. It’s normally just articles about ski racing…I don’t know, it was just a totally different type of media for me and it was difficult to deal with but at the same time, none of it was true so, I just had to laugh it off and try to keep focusing on my skiing.”
Ski Pass: “You went from being a “skistar” to a “star”
Lindsey: “I don’t know, but in the US it definitely put me more in the mainstream media, but I mean, that wasn’t my intent at all. But that’s what the US media really like,…those kind of gossipy stories, and unfortunately I was a part of that but I think that being single now that’s just going to continue to happen, and I have to be able to deal with it.”
Ski Pass: “What’s top of your to do list this year?”
Lindsey: “Defending the overall title is something that is very important to me. This year it’s also the World Championships in Schladming and I’ll hopefully get a medal or two. I’m just going to try to win as many World Cups as I can. At this point of my career, it doesn’t really do me a lot of good to be number 15. I really have to try for the win, and if I don’t finish and I make a mistake so be it, but every time in the starting gate I’m going for the win.”
Watch the Ski Pass Show at 08:30 or 11:30 on Saturday on the Eurosport Player