Vonn returning to Vail; extends career one more season
If you go ...
What: Apres-Ski Chic Extraordinaire — a 1960s-themed party to support The Lindsey Vonn Foundation.
Where: The 10th at Mid-Vail, Vail Mountain.
When: Friday, March 31, 7-11 p.m.
Cost: The event is open to the public. A fundraising party ticket costs $300. Young professionals 35 and younger can get a two-for-one ticket. The VIP Ski Run with Lindsey is $1,500.
More information: There will be a 10-piece band and silent auction, including gear, gift cards and more. Money raised goes toward The Lindsey Vonn Foundation, helping inspire and empower young women. To RSVP to the party, visit http://www.lindseyvonnfoundation.org.
VAIL — The winningest female World Cup ski racer and Olympic gold medalist Lindsey Vonn will soon be back in Vail, hitting the rivers for some fly-fishing and taking to the local hiking trails.
After a long ski season and continuing to rehab a hand injury, Vonn will spend much of the mud season in Vail with her three dogs. While she’s in town, Vonn is inviting the public to a special party at The 10th at Mid-Vail on Friday, March 31.
The Lindsey Vonn Foundation presents Apres-Ski Chic Extraordinaire — a 1960s apres-themed costume party and silent auction fundraiser.
“I wanted to do something different,” Vonn said. “I wanted to do something that involved skiing, but I wanted it to be fun and something that represents our foundation.”
The Lindsey Vonn Foundation strives to give the future women of the world the confidence to move mountains through scholarships, educations and athletics. Throughout the years, the foundation has put on a number of events, including in Vail and Minnesota.
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“I have an awesome outfit picked out,” Vonn said over the phone from Los Angeles on Monday.
While bell bottoms, a ski sweater and furry boots might sound like just another regular day for Vonn, she’s excited for the evening full of fun for a great cause.
“I’m pretty thrilled about it,” she said of her wardrobe. “I never thought I’d use the sweater.”
With a 10-piece band providing the evening’s music, auction items include Spyder Lindsey Vonn speed suits, U.S. Open tennis tournament tickets, Under Armour gift cards, Leki ski and hiking poles, Oakley goggles and sunglasses, a stay at a vacation home on Nantucket and more.
Ticket prices start at $300 (young professionals 35 and younger can purchase a two-for-one pass), and a VIP Ski Run with Vonn is also available for $1,500. All of the money goes toward the Lindsey Vonn Foundation.
“Our goal is to inspire and empower young girls,” Vonn said. “We basically just do everything we can to give girls a platform to be able to succeed and believe in their abilities.”
‘ONE MORE SEASON’
Vonn has won 77 World Cup races since beginning her career in 2000. While she’s the most decorated female skier of all time, she’s within reach of Ingemar Stenmark’s overall World Cup record of 86 victories.
With nine wins left to tie Stenmark and 10 to surpass his record, Vonn is well aware of what’s possibly on the horizon for her.
In her career, the most wins Vonn has ever earned in a season is 12, in 2012. Since 2008-09, she’s earned eight or more wins, except for 2012-13, when she won six times. This year, she claimed her 77th victory in January — her second race after returning from the most painful injury of her career.
“I’ve decided to extend my career another year, so after the Olympics, I’ll for sure be competing for one more season,” Vonn said. “I feel like that way I don’t have to be incredibly focused on the World Cup record and the Olympics. I can just really focus on the Olympics and give myself a little bit more time to get the World Cup record.”
In November, Vonn broke her right arm while training at Copper Mountain. She battled through the injury but is still dealing with nerve damage in her hand.
She said she struggles with simple things like pulling something out of her back pocket, holding her phone and anything that requires her hand to be open. She also raced with it, adding a layer of tape around her fist and pole.
“I feel like I have a decent grip on it, but I can’t tell when I’m going to lose it or not, so that’s why I’ve been taping it for the races to make sure it’s not going to come off,” she said.
Inspired by Federer
Vonn, 32, has spent more than half of her life competing on the World Cup circuit. Now, with the emergence of other stars including Mikaela Shiffrin, 22, Vonn is one of the most experienced racers on the U.S. Ski Team.
“Age doesn’t mean you can’t succeed — it’s just a number,” Vonn said. “As long as you’re motivated and willing to work hard, anything is still possible.”
She says she appreciates what tennis legend Roger Federer has been doing later in his career.
“Federer has always been a big inspiration for me,” Vonn said. “He’s had a couple of injuries the last few years and is getting relatively older for his sport, as am I, and a lot of people have written him off and he’s come back. He won the Australian Open and now just won in Indian Wells (in California). I think he’s on a really good streak to win the U.S. Open and Wimbledon.”
‘PEACE AND QUIET’
With her calendar packed with ski racing, promoting her foundation and rehabilitating her injured hand, Vonn always finds a way to make time for her three dogs, Leo, Bear and Lucy.
“My dogs are great. They’re all together in Vail,” Vonn said. “They love the springtime and they’re getting really muddy. I’m having to clean them all of the time, which is annoying.”
Lucy is the new addition to the Vonn Dogs Crew.
“She’s a princess, but she’s a great traveler and she brings some energy to the trio.”
Vonn is wrapping up some physical testing for Red Bull in California before coming home to Vail. She’s looking forward to spending the offseason in the Rocky Mountains.
“I enjoy the peace and quiet. I just like hanging with my dogs,” she said. “I think it’s going to be a lot nicer this spring because all of the snow is almost already melted, so I feel like the mud season will be short.”
Reporter Ross Leonhart can be reached at 970-748-2915 and firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Instagram at colorado_livin_on_the_hill.