Lindsey Vonn overcomes grief to reach Olympics

He was 88, the reason Vonn's father Alan began skiing, and therefore the reason Lindsey took up the sport.

Italians have been waiting 66 years for an Olympic gold medal in men's downhill but in Dominik Paris they have a genuine contender in Sunday's opening race on the Jeongseon course.

Do you remember Mikaela Shiffrin, Team USA Olympic ski racer, from the Sochi Games where she took gold in slalom?

The outspoken 33-year-old skier is among the most marketable US athletes in South Korea. My parents like to joke that the mountain was my babysitter.

She added: "I'm just going to lay it all out there".

Friday afternoon, as she prepared for her fourth - and likely final - Olympics, she sobbed.

After a lot of physical therapy, I was able to ski again. Not just physically but also mentally.

However, the 28-year-old from South Tyrol knows that while the professionals may value consistent displays on the World Cup circuit, for the fans back home, the Olympics is what truly generates excitement.

In the most human of ways, world-class athletes are not so different than you or me. I definitely wasn't like one of the child prodigies or favourites coming up as a kid, but I worked hard and I loved it.

O: You've made history for the U.S. and been the first American to reach several milestones.

So how can I watch all of this?

"I don't think that awe and respect has has ever changed". Now that I'm in race season, I try to get at least two lifts in a week.

"The wind is always stupid for us because firstly it makes the race a bit unfair and secondly it also makes it risky", said Germany's Thomas Dressen. Instead, she will focus her attention on the downhill, the super-G and the combined.

Shiffrin is unsure just which events she will compete in at the 2018 Olympics, saying it will depend on her fitness. And right now, with one more week until the start of the upcoming season, she feels as confident on skis as she has in years. He's going to be a tough guy to beat. "Now let's hope we actually take off tonight". There's some tough competition out there for sure.

"Right now, we're looking at any possibility", she said. But she hasn't slowed down a bit, only working harder than she ever has.

Some companies, including Dick's Sporting Goods, offer work programs that allow Olympic athletes without other sources of income to earn a living while training for the games.

Vonn, who has 81 wins to date, said: "I think next year I can get beyond that".

Lindsey Vonn and her grandfather, Don Kildow, were extremely close.

  • Julie Sanders