Olympic gold medalist and World Cup skier Lindsey Vonn is spending these days in New York as an Olympic correspondent for NBC’s “Today.”
Back-to-back knee injuries sidelined her from Sochi and she’s trying to cope.
“I’m kind of in the process of accepting the fact that I’m not there,” Vonn told USA Today. “I think it will still be difficult to watch the events I would be a contender in.”
Vonn is the most successful female ski racer in U.S. history. She’s the only American woman to ever capture downhill gold at the Olympics. She’s also the only American woman to win four overall World Cup titles.
She’s battled depression for years, but seems to take any setbacks in stride. How’s she feeling now?
“Normal again, now that I’m on medication,” Vonn told Self magazine. “I have sad days, but they’re rare and the lows aren’t as low. (This past year), I’ve been the happiest I’ve ever been. A part of me is missing when I can’t ski, but I’ve learned there’s more to define me and make me happy, like stand-up paddling and Jet Skiing — things I’d never done before. Or being with people I love and just enjoying life.”
The loves of her life: Boyfriend Tiger Woods, her new adopted dog, Leo, and her mom.
Vonn, who announced nearly one year ago that she and Woods were dating, said that the No. 1 golfer in the world has helped her stay patient through rehab.
“Golf is all about patience — one tournament is four days long, 18 holes a day,” Vonn said. “He helped me take it one day at a time. I’d say, ‘Why can’t I do this? I want to!’ And he’d say, ‘You’ll get your chance. It will come.’ We’re good for each other. I don’t know what he’s learned from me, to be honest. But we push each other and help each other when we’re down.”
Vonn’s knee injury is a major setback. But crashing on the slopes doesn’t frighten her.
“What’s the point in being afraid?” Vonn said. “I’ve crashed a million times. If you go around being afraid, you’re never going to enjoy life. You have only one chance, so you’ve got to have fun.”
Vonn’s plan is to get back on the snow in October — eight months from now — and compete at the 2015 world championships in her hometown of Vail, Colo.
“I’m not going to push it,” she said.