Lindsey Vonn’s got next: Legendary ski racer has big plans | VailDaily.com

Lindsey Vonn’s got next: Legendary ski racer has big plans

Just months into her retirement, Vail icon is looking to accomplish ‘something much greater’

Lindsey Vonn looks pretty in pink at her annual fundraiser in Vail for her Lindsey Vonn Foundation.
Jesse Star | Special to the Daily

VAIL — Lindsey Vonn’s historic ski-racing career was defined not by how many times she fell, but how many times she got back up. The end result of that tenacity? Three Olympic medals, eight World Championships medals and 82 World Cup victories — the most of any female skier.

Nearly two months into her retirement from World Cup competition, Vonn’s work ethic hasn’t wavered, but her focus has.

“I just think that ski racing is a small part of my life and my career,” Vonn said before her foundation’s fundraiser in Vail on March 29. “I’m so thankful that I’ve been able to do so much despite all of my injuries and what not, but now all the doors are open and I can really hunker down, work hard and hopefully accomplish something much greater than I did in ski racing.”

‘Ready to move on’

Similar to her dedicated preparation before entering starting gates across the world for so many years, Vonn and her close circle of family and friends have been preparing for this moment for years, she said.

With more time and availability away from ski racing, Vonn is certainly staying busy while focusing on a balance of work and play — including doing ski ballet with Jonny Moseley on Vail Mountain.

Vonn has partnered with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Under Armour on the Bend Boundaries Project Rock Collection. When she signed on, the current line was already mostly designed, but she’s looking forward to being more hands-on moving forward.

“The next line I’m working closely with him and the design team to make sure the products are perfect,” Vonn said. “Obviously he’s not a girl, so he can’t wear test it, so that’s kind of my job.”

Currently, the duo have Under Armour’s top 10 selling items.

At the Lindsey Vonn Foundation annual fundraiser — an ’80s prom-themed affair — Johnson recorded a special message to the crowd and offered up a live auction item featuring a visit to set of “Jungle Cruise,” his new Disney film based off the amusement park ride of the same name.

Video courtesy of David V Gonzales

In 2018, the Lindsey Vonn Foundation helped more than 30 girls pursue their dreams through over $83,000 in scholarships for education, sports and enrichment programs. The foundation is led by executive director Laura Kildow, Vonn’s sister. At the foundation’s fundraiser in Vail, scholarship winner and up-and-coming ice skater Caroline Pellerito of Skating Club of Vail took the stage with Vonn.

Her mission with the foundation is to build out its curriculum in the next three years and work toward a long-term plan, helping more girls build confidence and reach their goals.

Vonn is also working on a memoir coming out soon and a beauty line with partner Chase Ink.

“We have a lot of things in the works. Some of it you’ll hear about soon; some of it will come out in a while,” she said, “but I’m definitely staying busy.”

Acting classes are also on the to-do list for Vonn.

“I really want to kick some ass in whatever it is I do — some sort of action movie,” she said.

With projects and connections across the country, Vonn will continue to spend some time in Vail and is having her surgery done here on April 1.

“I think it’s important for me to find a good balance because I tend to be a workaholic, and I could fill up every single day if I wanted to,” she said. “I also want to spend time with P.K. and my family, and the dogs.”

P.K. is P.K. Subban, Vonn’s boyfriend and a star defenseman for the Nashville Predators. When asked if she’ll ever take up singing while in Nashville, Vonn said “definitely not.” Her time now revolves around someone else’s competitive schedule.

“It just depends on P.K.’s schedule because I want to be there for him and hopefully he makes it to the Stanley Cup Finals and wins the cup,” she said.

While Vonn finished her ski racing career four wins shy of the 86 World Cup victories claimed by the great Ingemar Stenmark of Sweden, the sport is officially in her rearview.

“It’s weird, it’s already so far in the back of my mind, and that’s how it should be,” she said. “If I was still thinking about it then that wouldn’t be healthy. I’ve accepted what I did in my career and I’m ready to move on.”

Assistant editor Ross Leonhart can be reached at 970-748-2984 and rleonhart@vaildaily.com. Follow him on Instagram at colorado_livin_on_the_hill.