Lindsey Vonn's busy year
This is an extended version of a story that appears in ESPN The Magazine's Dec. 23 Interview Issue. Subscribe today!
Crashes at the world championships in Austria and tears ACL and MCL in right knee
There was so much pain from halfway down my leg down to my ankle, and I couldn't figure out what was causing the pain. I was concerned that it was a broken leg, and a lot of people can't continue racing because of it. I thought, Oh my god, is my career gonna be over? But my doctor was on the mountain, and he came down and felt it. As soon as he said, "It's not your tibia, it's your knee," I was like, "Okay, it'll be all right." As for the rehab, I really only had two days where it was pretty brutal. After that, it was fine, and I didn't even need the painkillers after a few days. I think I was really lucky.
While recovering, is awarded her sixth straight downhill title, the most by any man or woman, and a record 17th crystal globe
It's a very fine line between too nervous and too calm in racing, and for some reason, I've been able to find that balance. When I got my first podium [in January 2004], I remembered what I did, and I literally did the exact same thing every single race. I was searching for a good routine. And for me, it's the way I am in the starting gate. I try to be very calm yet at the same time be aggressive. It's having already visualized the course a hundred times and knowing that I know where I'm going and I don't need to think about it again. So when I'm in the gate, I'm relaxed and ready to charge.
I've won many World Cups and Olympics and world championships now, so I feel like it's a matter of how hard I can push myself and how well I execute on that particular day. It's not necessarily whether the pressure's there or not. I want to ski fast no matter what I'm doing, even in training. When I focus on my skiing and am pushing myself and going fast, then the results come. If I think about the result first, then it'll never happen.
Confirms that she's dating Tiger Woods
I knew there were going to be positive and negative reactions, but it was still the right decision for us -- and I would do it again. And now the media just affects us when we go out to eat or something. We don't get stalked by paparazzi; it's not really like that. But one question I never want to hear again? "Is he coming to your races?" It's like, even if he was, I'm not going to tell you guys. We don't need to make an announcement. He's supporting me like I support him. I don't give interviews announcing that I'm coming to a golf tournament, you know?
Hits the slopes in Portillo, Chile, for a practice run with the U.S. ski team
I've had a lot of setbacks in my career and a lot of injuries, but I can fight through pretty much anything. It's something that's always been in me. Most of the time, it's mind over matter, and I feel like my mind is pretty strong and pretty tough. My dad has tons of stories about how I was always the last one on the mountain when I was young, and I was really tough. So the training and the rehab in the gym, all that stuff's no problem. But to be on crutches and to need help from everyone all the time? I absolutely hated that.
Reinjures her right knee at Copper Mountain in Colorado
Facebook status: … "Thank you all so much for your support and well-wishes. It has been a very difficult few days, and your positive messages have helped tremendously. Rehab is going well, and I am working as hard as I can to race in Lake Louise in a few weeks. Thank you again, I'm proud to have the best fans in the world! Love, Lindsey
PS: don't worry guys, this is only a temporary setback. Nothing will keep me from picking myself back up and continuing to fight for my dreams. #sochi2014 #whenyoufallgetbackup #notstopping #workinghard"