Lindsey Vonn, the AP’s 2010 Female of the Year, and the first skier — male or female — to have that honor, sat down with FITNESS magazine to give the scoop on competition, rivalry, and retirement in the February issue in stands now.
On how she dealt with the media circus at the Olympics:
“I’d heard the Michael Phelps–like expectations, so I just shut myself off from all the hype. I didn’t watch TV; I didn’t look at magazines or newspapers. I had to pretend it wasn’t the Olympics but just another race in Vancouver. Otherwise I would have psyched myself out.”
Is there really a rivalry between you and Julia Mancuso?
“When I’m in the starting gate, I want to win. I’m not saying that I want to beat one particular person; I just want to win. With women the media tends to blow things out of proportion and make it personal, when we’re really just competing.”
On winning a gold medal:
“Winning the downhill—my favorite event—will always stand out for me for the rest of my life. Finally
accomplishing something you’ve been dreaming about since you were a little kid is just beyond words.”
Is there any sport you’re not good at?
“I’m pretty bad at surfing. Things in water tend not to go so well for me. I sink like a rock. I think it’s because of my big butt.”
How long do you think you’ll keep skiing?
“In 2015 the world championships will be in my hometown of Vail, Colorado. So I’m going to try to do well for the crowd. Maybe after that I’ll retire and have four kids. I want to be a stay-at-home mom who bakes cookies and is there for her children.”
You’ve won an Olympic gold and your husband hasn’t. Does that bother him?
“No! We’re each other’s biggest cheerleaders. He supports me 100 percent. We’re opposites that attract; every cliché you can think of is true when it comes to us. I’m the emotional, spontaneous one who listens to my heart, and he’s logical and focuses on the details.”
When are you happiest?
“When I’m with my family, preferably while skiing. I love being out on the mountain and feeling the wind against my face mixed with the adrenaline of going fast. At that moment it doesn’t matter what else is going on in my life. All the chaos stops.”