QUOTES: What the world thinks about ski racer Lindsey Vonn

Courtesy of Red Bull Media Service Team

Read the thoughts of friends, rivals, and key figures in Vonn’s career.

Vonn’s Head Coach Alex Hoedlmoser, who has worked closely with her since the beginning, said in an interview before the 2010 Winter Games:

“She was this tall, skinny thing. Her set up and everything was just completely wrong for speed. Her knees were just wobbling around. It was pretty funny actually. But we could see right away that there was a lot of talent.”

Vonn’s sports physical therapist, Lindsay Winninger, said in an interview with AP in January 2018.

“She’s relentless toward her goals. It’s not easy to continue to fight like she’s done. With each injury she’s had, she’s learned something about herself and her body. I believe she’s a better athlete for it.”

Compatriot and double Olympic champion Mikaela Shiffrin said in a press conference at the 2018 Winter Games:

“Gosh, I’d say Lindsey’s meant more to the sport and put our sport on the map more than any other athlete. Definitely she’s the biggest name in the sport and because she came before me and had success, it’s given me an opportunity to make ski racing a career. I admire what she’s done, it’s incredible, and there’s a lot to learn from her mindset of constantly fighting to be the fastest she possibly can.”

Austrian skiing great Annemarie Moser-Proell said in an interview alongside Vonn at TV station ORF:

“I like Lindsey Vonn for her uncomplicated character. And we don’t need to discuss her skiing — she’s just perfect!”

Picabo Street, former US Olympic champion and Vonn’s idol, said in an interview with NBC in 2018:

“The faster she went, the bigger the smile she got on her face. You can’t teach somebody to love the fall line like that little girl loved the fall line. I had never seen anybody ski as well as she could at that age; I knew the sky was the limit for her.

“And now? Lindsey is by far the greatest Alpine skier ever. No matter how many times she has a new injury or something going on, she finds a way to climb back on and keep riding.”

IOC President Thomas Bach, talking to USA Today in February 2015 after Vonn’s comeback following the 2014 Sochi Olympics, said: 

“If you’re as successful as Lindsey is, and then cannot participate in the Olympic Games in Sochi (2014), 90 percent of athletes being in this position would have said, ‘OK, this is it. I would have loved to have another end to my career, but it’s finished’. But to take the decision to come back, and return to in this form, now being the most successful skier ever, it’s a great achievement. It’s fantastic, I’m really full of admiration.”

Elvedina Muzaferija, a young Bosnian skier in Pyeongchang 2018, said to the Olympic Information Service:

“Whenever anybody has asked me who is my hero, I’ve always said Lindsey Vonn. I look at her, how she always comes back from injury and always fights back to the top and even though she didn’t win the downhill here, she’s a winner to me. I met her this morning and asked her for her autograph – and she was so nice, wishing me luck.  I didn’t think someone so famous would be so friendly but she really was.”

Kaillie Humphries, Canadian double Olympic bobsleigh champion, in an interview with CBC Canada in December 2017 said:

“These days, I know there are tons of young girls who have Lindsey Vonn posters in their rooms. They look at her and see the best in the world. She dominates. She gets rewarded. She lives the fairy-tale life that comes with being the best.”

Bode Miller, FIS Overall World Cup Champion 2005 & 2008, said in an interview with the Washington Post in February 2018:

“In my opinion, she’s the best there’s ever been in the modern era, and I would say she’s the best there’s been even compared to (Ingemar) Stenmark, because Stenmark wasn’t able to compete in all the different events. Even though he had more wins, he had a different schedule than her and had many more opportunities and different risk tolerance.”

The great Ingemar Stenmark, a man of few words and the odd wry smile, enthusing about Lindsey when the pair met for a sponsors’ event:

“She’s too good…”

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