It’s been a long journey down the mountain(s) for US Olympian Lindsey Vonn and after securing a bronze medal in what was likely her last downhill ski race in Pyeongchang, Vonn broke down in tears reflecting on her Olympic career.
Vonn was back at the Olympics for the first time since 2010, when she became the first American woman to win gold in downhill skiing– she missed 2014 after suffering several severe injuries. Last fall Vonn also lost her beloved grandfather, who she grew up skiing with, making this competition even more emotional for her.
“You know, it’s been really hard not to get emotional for me, for so many reasons, especially because of my grandfather. I wanted to win so much because of him. I still think I made him proud. Our family never gives up and I never gave up. I kept working hard and I’m really proud of this medal and I know he is too.”
She also went on to say, “I gave it my best shot. I tried so hard. I worked my butt off. I’m so proud to have competed with such amazing girls. You know, my teammates have really supported me… I’m really happy and proud to have been competing with them. It’s been fun. It’s been a fun ride. It’s sad. This is my last downhill. I wish I could keep going. I love what I do, my body just can’t take another 4 years, but– I don’t know. I’m proud to have competed for my country and proud to have given it my all.”
After having time to collect her thoughts, Vonn tweeted, “Today I won a bronze medal that felt like gold. It was an amazing day that I will never forget. Thank you to everyone who supported me and helped me get to this point. Love you all.”
She also realized she’s the oldest female skiing medalist.