Lindsey Vonn trying to ‘focus on the moment’
Special to The Aspen Times
PYEONGCHANG, South Korea — The two races this week may be the final Olympic competitions of Lindsey Vonn’s decorated career.
Vonn, who won gold and bronze in Vancouver in 2010 but missed the 2014 Games in Sochi due to injury, said she isn’t yet thinking about the end of her Olympic experiences.
“I’ve tried not to think about it as being my last Olympic downhill,” she said. “Just focus on the moment — the right here and the right now. And I think later on I’ll reflect on how much I enjoyed it and how much my teammates and my coaches made it special for me.”
Vonn finished with the best time in the downhill training Sunday and was the third-fastest racer in the training Monday — despite being dismayed that her family could not watch training.
“Beyond disappointing that my family flew 6,000 miles to watch me ski and they aren’t even allowed to watch my downhill training runs,” she tweeted Monday. “Access has been denied to all families and spectators. @fisalpine tried to help but access was still denied. Sad.”
The 33-year-old Vail resident said she plans to race the downhill, scheduled for Wednesday (tonight in Colorado), and the alpine combined, which was originally scheduled for Friday but was moved to Thursday (Wednesday night in Colorado) due to impending bad weather.
“It will be interesting if they do the combined on Thursday,” she said before the announcement later in the day. “I guess the weather is supposed to be bad on Friday. It will be tough to have enough energy for that. But, yeah, I’ll do the best that I can.”
She’ll skip the team event, scheduled for Saturday, saying that with Mikaela Shiffrin and Ted Ligety not participating, there’s not much chance of a U.S. medal.
Vonn also addressed the criticisms that she has faced from some supporters of President Donald Trump after saying in December that she skied “for the people of the United States, not the president.”
The comments intensified Saturday, filling Vonn’s Twitter feed after she failed to medal in the super-G.
“The most important thing is that I’m having a good time,” she said. “I’m enjoying being in the Olympics. My family’s here, they love me. There’s of course going to be people that hate me and hope I ski off a cliff and die. But, you know, that’s fine. I’m not going to do that.”
“I just take it for what it is,” she said. “At some point you have to laugh and say, ‘This is just completely ridiculous.’”
Vonn wasn’t backing down from the Internet critics. Nor was she backing down from her opinions.
“I haven’t changed my mind,” she said.