While continuing to rack up successes on the slopes, Alpine skiing star Lindsey Vonn has again taken to her role of Ambassador for the Winter Youth Olympic Games with great enthusiasm.
Can anyone stop Lindsey Vonn? The American skiing superstar, named as one of the Ambassadors for the Winter Youth Olympic Games for the second time, continued to extend her record number of FIS Alpine Ski World Cup wins in late 2015 and early 2016.
In Lake Louise (CAN) at the beginning of December, she won all three races on the slate (two downhills and a super-G), again demonstrating, in the first downhill race, her trademark ability to overcome a seemingly serious error by building up speed from start to finish. On 12 December in Åre (SWE), Vonn tasted victory once more in the giant slalom. In Altenmarkt (AUT) the following month, she collected her 36th downhill win, equalling Annemarie Moser-Pröll’s longstanding record in the discipline and bringing her total number of World Cup triumphs to 73.
The first Olympic champion to agree to act as an Ambassador for the inaugural Winter Youth Olympic Games, held in Innsbruck in 2012, Vonn had no hesitation in renewing her commitment – for Lillehammer 2016, this time – in September 2014. After a decade of dominant displays, the American made it clear that she was keen to pass on her not inconsiderable knowledge and acumen.
“It’s fantastic to be back at the Youth Olympic Games!” she exclaimed. “Innsbruck 2012 was such a thrilling event, not just for the athletes taking part, but also for the young fans watching. It showcases, in a completely unique way, how much fun and excitement can be had in winter sports. With its Olympic tradition and famous venues, Lillehammer will provide the best possible experience for the athletes, both in and out of the sporting arena – I’m very excited to be a part of it.”
A double gold medallist (in downhill and super-G) at the 2009 FIS World Ski Championships in Val d’Isère (FRA), the first female American skier to claim an Olympic downhill title (at Vancouver 2010), and the all-time record holder for the number of crystal globes won (19, including four large globes awarded for topping the overall World Cup standings) Vonn spent almost two years on the sidelines after sustaining a serious right knee injury in the Super-G during the Worlds in Schladming (AUT) in February 2013.
Unable to defend her downhill crown at the Sochi Games in 2014, the resilient alpinist bounced back in the 2014-2015 winter season, prior to continuing in the same impressive vein during this current campaign.
Despite her busy schedule, Vonn has got involved in promoting Olympic Day (23 June) in the past few years, encouraging her numerous fans to engage in some form of physical activity, and she has also been quick to offer guidance to up-and-coming athletes as part of her ambassadorial role, particularly via online videos. “Hi, I’m Lindsey! The most important thing about training for any sport, and especially in the winter, is knowing how to warm up properly,” she explained in a recent video, in which she provides crucial tips for young skiers preparing to hit the slopes.
In another clip, the determined Olympian demonstrates her desire to share her extensive experience by describing her pre-race routine. “When I’m at the start gate, my main focus is on trying to relax. I visualise the course over and over until I know that I can ski it aggressively.
“Everything in skiing is very precise. You have to know exactly what line you’re going to take, and where on the jump you’re going to take off. You need to be totally sure about what you’re doing and be completely confident. It’s you against the mountain; you can push the limits, and that’s what I always try to do. I’ve got YOG DNA!” she concluded with a flourish.