A break (finally) arrives for Vonn | VailDaily.com

A break (finally) arrives for Vonn

Ian CroppVail, CO Colorado
Doug Haney/U.S. Ski TeamLindsey Vonn holding the overall World Cup trophy in Switzerland last month. Vonn said the 30-pound crystal globe was hard to hold onto with one hand.

VAIL After what was the longest and most successful season of her young skiing career, Lindsey Vonn has a few tough decisions to make this summer.First off, Vonn, the former Ski Club Vail athlete, needs to figure out where shes going to put her World Cup globes.They are sitting on my kitchen table, Vonn said during an interview last week in Vail. They dont even come close to fitting in the (trophy case).Vonn (formerly Kildow) and husband Thomas also need to decide if they are going to take that elusive honeymoon theyve been putting off since they married last summer.I keep telling myself we are going to, Vonn said. Maybe one day.OK, so maybe the next month or two wont be quite as demanding as Vonns never-ending winter, but she certainly deserves a bit of a break. After all, that trophy case problem is the result of Vonns historic run that saw her win the World Cup downhill title and the most coveted trophy in alpine skiing the World Cup overall globe. As hard as it was to win the title, brining the pure crystal trophy back home proved to be a battle, too. (She won the smaller downhill globe several weeks before the overall).I borrowed some towels from the hotel and had my own wrapping system, Vonn said. I had a small plane from Washington to New York, and it didnt fit in the overhead or under the seat, so I kind of put it where my feet where supposed to be and put a blanket over it.Then, at security, Vonn had to unwrap the 30-pound overall trophy.In Europe they knew exactly what it was, so they didnt question it, Vonn said.

Once Vonn cleared customs in New York, she and Ted Ligety, who won the World Cup giant slalom title, went on a media tour.It was nice for me because I got to see people who were following ski racing in the United States and New York City, Vonn said. We went to CNN, Sirius Radio, ESPN the Magazine … and we were on the Fox Business Show.Both Vonn and Ligety have their own businesses, although Vonns sunglasses line The LK line, but I have to change it now that Im married isnt as well known as Ligetys Shred Optics company.After Vonn competed at U.S. Nationals, where she took the slalom title, she headed to Val dIsere, France to test the 2009 World Alpine Ski Championships course.I was surprised more people werent there, said Vonn, who got to spend some time with her good friend, Maria Riesch at Rieschs apartment in Germany after. Maria and I were the best girls there, and there was nobody else besides the French girls.While she was pretty worn out at the time, Vonn was happy to have gotten a sneak peak at the downhill piste.Its going to be a challenge, she said. Its a tough course. The top is pretty mellow, but the bottom really stacks up. Its like a super-G. Its really narrow and you have to be 100 percent on your game, or you wont be close to making it. There were only about 20 people there and most didnt finish.Before she put away the skis for the summer, Vonn went to a celebrity event in Switzerland the Verbier High Five by Carlsberg and realized that she is, indeed, a celebrity.James Blunt was there and one of the guys from Carlsberg said, Hey Lindsey, I want you to meet James. I turned around and said, Oh, hi James, and though, wow, thats James Blunt thats awesome, Vonn said. I was totally thrown off guard. But he follows skiing and knew exactly who I was. He was super nervous to meet me, and I was sitting there with my mouth completely hung open.Hes a really good skier, and said we should hang out, and I said, Yeah! Lets do that.

Vonn finally made it back to her home in Park City, Utah, in mid-April.Im just relaxing and not going to the gym unless I really want to, she said. I only get one month off, so Im utilizing it. My season kept dragging out for a long time.While in Vail, Vonn had her knee checked out by Dr. Sterett.Last year I had a scope and we were thinking maybe Id have to get one again, Vonn said. I had an injury from when I was 14 on my left knee a tibial plateau fracture and there were chunks of cartilage and thats what we cleaned off last year, and maybe there was another chuck in there that had been giving me a little trouble.Earlier in the month, Ski & Snowboard Club Vail honored Vonn for her contribution to the advancement of skiing in the Vail area.I really wanted to be here for that, said Vonn, who was in France at the time. But Ive been e-mailing (people at the club) a lot. Vail has some really good skiers right now.Over the weekend, Vonn spent time in Denver with some of her U.S. Ski Team friends.While summer hasnt even yet begun, Vonn has her eye on next season.Im really excited, she said. I looked at the schedule already and they have a couple of new races, and there will be the world championships. Im going to try and do what I did this year and just win races and do the best I can in all four events and not think about the points.For now, though, Vonn finally can put snow in the back of her mind.Sports Writer Ian Cropp can be reached at 748-2935 or icropp@vaildaily.com.

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