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The Olympic Rings Stand for Dreams

16 Apr 2018
Olympism in Action Forum
Lindsey Vonn is an American Alpine skier, four-time Olympian, Olympic champion in Vancouver 2010, and one of only two women to win four World Cup titles. Vonn has been a Youth Olympic Games Ambassador since the inaugural event in Innsbruck in 2012 and is a passionate advocate for youth sports.


In the run-up to the Olympism in Action Forum in Buenos Aires (5-6 October 2018), we looked at groups and individuals who, inspired by the power of sport to contribute to a better world, have used their initiative to organise projects and programmes to effect change at all levels.

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“I first started dreaming about the Olympics when I was nine years old. I met former Olympic skier Picabo Street at a ski shop in Minnesota. She was the first idol I had and I wanted to be like her, an Olympian. She signed a poster of herself that I still have in my bedroom. It reminds me of why I do what I do and how far I've come.”

“I started skiing when I was two and a half and started racing when I was about seven. I wasn't very good when I started racing, but I loved training with my friends at night under the lights. My coach called me a turtle, but eventually I realised that I didn't want to be in last place and I figured out how to become faster. Even before that, ski racing has always been something that I've enjoyed doing. I’ve tried other sports – soccer, ice skating – they didn’t make me happy. Ski racing has always been my passion.”

The Olympics are so much more than ‘just a race’ and so much more than the medals. Lindsey Vonn USA

“When I got to the Olympics at 17 years old it was a fairy-tale. I was so excited. I had worked so hard to get to there and my family had sacrificed so much. My dreams stemmed from the Olympics – it all started with idolising Picabo Street. The Olympics have a way of allowing kids to dream about the potential of success down the road. The Olympic rings stand for dreams.”

Vonn IOC/Dan Campbell

“The Olympics are so much more than ‘just a race’ and so much more than the medals. I have always felt unified with my country, and being a part of Team USA has been so extraordinary.”

“I'm an athlete, and that's always been my number one priority. Training, sleeping, eating well: all those things come first. If I have extra time then I post on social media and go to events, but I've never lost sight of what's most important to me. Ski racing is my love, it's my passion, and I always keep my dreams and goals in mind. That’s been key to my longevity in ski racing.”

“It’s definitely not luck. I’m not the most talented person. I'm not the most athletic. I have a good feel for ski racing and I have a good technique, but nothing has come very easily to me. I think it's the fact that I love what I do and I'm willing to work exceptionally hard to accomplish my goals that sets me apart and has allowed me to be so successful in ski racing.”

“The biggest piece of advice I have received is to never change who I am. A lot of people over the years have tried to change my technique and say I need to adapt and be different, but what makes me good at ski racing is being different. You've got to be yourself.”

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