Best athletes of all time: Lindsey Vonn


Lindsey Vonn is the best skier of all time. Her outstanding four World Cup championship wins tied with her grit and determination links her to this title. With eighty-two wins at her retirement in 2019, she is all-time leader.

Lindsey Caroline Vonn (Kildow) was born on October 18, 1984, in St. Paul, Minnesota. Lindsey was introduced to skiing around the age of two-years-old and began to take on a love for the sport early on. She began skiing with Erich Sailer, who owned a renowned development program called Burnsville Buck Hill. This program also developed skier Kristina Koznick, who was a slalom racer. 

In her career, she was able to win four World Cup championships along with many other World Cup titles, Super-G titles, and Crystal globe titles. 

Fellow skier Annemarie Moser-Pröll originally had the most World Cup titles, but Lindsey came up behind her and tied her in the first-place category. Vonn eventually surpassed Annemarie with more wins and was able to dominate the hill. I believe that Annemarie was a great skier, but eventually Lindsey became the best. With her years of experience and practice, her love for the sport grew, and she grew as an athlete. Annemarie had a record of six overall titles, including five consecutive. She celebrated huge successes time after time because of how great she was.  

On the topic of her hard work, she was fierce. Lindsey put in the effort that she needed to in order to win. For five to six days a week during the summer months, she worked in the gym for as many as six hours a day and woke up before most creatures in nature did to get her training started. Unique to her training is time spent on the spin bike, which geared her quad muscles up for skiing. In the winter months, her training was intense. She had a high-key workout plan filled with cardio, lifting, core strength, and many more intense ways to stay fit. She spent many hours on her skis, tearing up the hills. 

Lindsey Vonn competed in four Olympic Games: the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympic Winter Games, the 2006 Turin Olympic Winter Games, the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Winter Games, and the 2018 P’yŏngch’ang Olympic Winter Games. Her long-time rival, Julia Mancuso, also has four medals from many Olympic Games over the years. Often, Lindsey and Julia are compared for their skiing and athletic abilities, but they have many differences. Julia is best known for her downhill racing, while Lindsey is a slalom racer in most events. This means that Lindsey continues to be referred to as one of the best, if not the best of all-time, in her race category. 

It is very important to know that Vonn put her career in front of her at all times before retirement. She made sking her “baby” and did everything she could to be better. If there was no room for improvement, she made room. She went full-force into her sport and loved what she did. “I think the most important thing in skiing is to have fun. If you’re having fun, then everything else will come easy to you.” 

Lindsey will go down as the greatest, most determined skier ever in my mind. No one has the grit and the love like she did and still does. Retirement is difficult when your job is what you love, but life’s adventures will always open up something new.