Lindsey Caroline Vonn, alpine skiing's poster girl, is as ruthless, brilliant and successful as they come in the competitive world of alpine racing.
Born Lindsey Caroline Kildow on 18th October 1984, in St. Paul, Minnesota, Lindsey Vonn is one of the world's top female skiers. Growing up in Minnesota, with her four siblings, Vonn began her ascent to sports stardom as a toddler, when her father, former competitive skier Alan Kildow, first put her on skis. He would later serve as her first coach. Vonn started racing at the age of 7 years.
Vonn then trained locally with coach Erich Sailer before moving to Vail, Colorado, in the late 1990's. In 1999, the 14-year-old Vonn made history when she won the slalom at Trofeo Topolino in Italy, becoming the first American woman to attain this honor. Over the next few years, she excelled as a junior competitor, and at 17 years old she was selected for the U.S. Ski team for the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah, where she came 6th in the combined. The following year, she won a silver medal at the Junior World Championships in Puy Saint-Vincent, France.
In 2005, Vonn joined the Red Bull Athletes Special Projects and began working with a new coaching team. Around this time, Vonn wrote on her website: "I had a feeling this was going to be my big chance." Vonn had high hopes for the 2006 Olympic Games in San Sicario, Italy; but during a practice run, she had a terrible accident she was evacuated by helicopter to Turin and was hospitalized overnight. She still competed, however, coming in seventh in the Super G and eighth in the downhill events.
Vonn made an impressive comeback the following year, winning two silver medals at the 2007 World Championships in Sweden, in the downhill and the Super G.
Vonn then began her winning streak at the World Cup in 2008, with a downhill championship victory — marking her domination of the sport.
In 2009, she took the gold in the downhill and Super G competitions at the World Championships and won both the downhill and Super G events at the World Cup.
In 2010, Vonn got the chance to fulfill a lifelong dream. She won two medals at the Olympic Games in Vancouver, Canada; she earned the top honor - her first gold medal - in the downhill, and took home the bronze in the Super G. Over the next few years, Vonn continued to dominate the sport. She took top honors at the World Cup in the downhill, Super G and combined events over three consecutive seasons.
On 5th February 2013, Vonn suffered a debilitating injury at the World Championships in Austria. After tearing both her ACL and MCL, along with fracturing her lateral tibial plateau, she underwent reconstructive knee surgery soon after. It took several months of recovery for Vonn to recover before she would be able to hit the slopes once again. She was next seen skiing at a training camp in August.
All seemed well as Vonn stated that her injured right knee felt as good as her left on the slopes, but she aggravated her injury while training on November 19. She competed and placed 40th, 11th and fifth in the Super G at Lake Louise, Alberta, the following month. Unfortunately, only two weeks later, she had to remove herself from a World Cup downhill competition in Val d'lsere, France, after her MCL was sprained. The sprain, in addition to her torn ACL, made Vonn's likelihood in competing during the 2014 Winter Olympics unlikely. She announced on 7th January 2014, that she would not be able to compete in the Winter Olympics.
Vonn made her comeback on 6th December 2014 at the Women’s World Cup downhill race at Lake Louise, Alberta, winning the event in only her second race back. On 18th March 2015, Vonn won the last World Cup downhill race at Meribel, France and claimed the World Cup downhill title for the seventh time. The next day, Vonn notched her eighth victory of the season by winning the last super-G race. With this win, Vonn took the super-G season title for a fifth time, tying a record shared by German Katja Seizinger, Austrian Hermann Maier and Norwegian Aksel Lund Svindal.
On 11th November 2016, Vonn announced that she had severely fractured the humerus bone of her right arm in a training crash. She had undergone surgery to repair the bone. Vonn returned to the World Cup on 15th January 2017, in the downhill race at Altenmarkt, Austria where she finished 13th. On 20th January in her second race back from injury, she won the downhill event in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, capturing her 77th win, an all-time women's record, passing Annemarie Moser-Pröll of Austria who had held the record since the 1970's.
Vonn was previously married to former competitive skier Thomas Vonn from 2007 to 2011.
Lindsey's hobbies include cycling, tennis, reading, and watching NBC's Law & Order.
Though she makes many public appearances, Vonn says training takes up most of her life except for a few weeks after the ski season. Her hobbies include cycling, tennis, reading, and watching NBC's Law & Order.
Vonn appeared in the 2010 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition which featured Olympians from the 2010 Winter Games, and in 2016 she took part in a photo shoot for Sports Illustrated, wearing only body paint.