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Lindsay Vonn ( 1984 - )  Category ( Sports_Figures ) [suggest a correction]

Lindsay VonnAmerican skier and Olympic medalist Lindsey Vonn was born and raised in Minnesota, and with the solid mid-western values of hard work, loyalty, and friendliness. She has been described as a "crowd favorite, cheerful soul and true fighter." She is also considered by many to be one of the greatest skiers in the world.

Growing up in a northern climate was the perfect environment to develop skills in snow sports. Vonn began skiing as a young child. Some of her earliest memories are of repeatedly falling down and picking herself up again. Both her father and grandfather were competitive skiers, and they encouraged Lindsey in her own endeavors.

She began racing when she was seven and by nine was participating in international junior competitions. Indeed, her early display of skiing talent almost drove the family to relocate to a location that provided more hills and mountains than the mostly flat Minnesota. Eventually the family chose to move to Vail, Colorado, where Vonn continued to excel.

When she was just fourteen she became the only female American ever to win Italy's Trofeo Topolino "Junior-Junior World" competition. She entered top-level competition the following year, finishing on the podium at several events. That same year she also won a Super Series and the Bronze medal in Combined at the US National Championships. She also raced in the World Cup for the first time during that year.

By 2003 she had won a silver medal at the Junior World Championships, along with a silver medal and a bronze medal at the US nationals. Two gold medals and two silvers would follow the next year, in both US and international events. Then, in 2005 she won the World Cup race victory. Her rapid and impressive achievements did not go unnoticed by those with deep pockets, just the sort of supporters athletes seek. She was awarded her first major sponsorship. According to Vonn, “When Red Bull invited me to be part of their Athletes Special Project, I didn’t need to think twice. I had the feeling this was going to be my big chance.”

The opportunity was life-changing, as it allowed Vonn to focus purely on her sport, developing skills and technique that put her into the category of world-class skiers. The program was hard work, according to Vonn, even for someone totally dedicated to her sport. “At first I would question every new suggestion,” she said. “During power training, for example, I wanted to know the exact benefits of each individual exercise. Gradually I saw my strength and performance improve, so my confidence in the program grew.”

Despite her confidence, honed skills, and specialized training; or perhaps because of that particular combination, the next few years presented new challenges, particularly injuries and less-than-expected performances. However, Vonn insists “Setbacks motivate me," and she overcame the injuries and went on to make the US Olympic team in January 2010. “If you work hard, it will pay off in the end,” Lindsey Vonn says. “When you fall down, just get up again.” Vonn dares to be ambitious. “Setbacks help you to concentrate,” she said. “When successes fall into your lap, you lose sight of your goals.”

Vonn engages in a rigorous, daily fitness routine, usually arriving at the gym at six a.m. In 2007, Von married her boyfriend Thomas Vonn. She has stated that her husband is totally supportive of her skiing career, and that “He comes to all my races, he can console me, motivate me or take my mind off things when it’s not going so well." Thomas Vonn also raced competitively, so the two easily maintain a sense of understanding and comradeship.

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