Lindsey Vonn: ‘We should leave the sport better than we found it’

Lindsey Vonn has started a very different new career who made headlines as the best female skier of her time. The American, quadruple winner of the Crystal Globe, generalist of the World Cup, will be the godmother of the Laureus Awards ceremony, which will be held telematically from Seville on April 24. “It is a great honor to host this year’s Laureus Awards and to also be part of the academy. I believe Laureus represents so much more than the Sports Awards – their charitable and selfless efforts around the world are incredible. And that’s really the reason why I wanted to join the Academy.”

Question: What does alpine skiing and the Olympics look like from the side view now? Do I miss not being able to compete?

Answer: I definitely missed running during the Olympics, but it was still fun to be part of it for a little bit. Working with NBC was great fun and I enjoyed commenting and talking with my friends. I was always texting all my friends uh…before races, so it was fun to stay involved. But I definitely missed the adrenaline rush of the race.

Q: Were there any special games?

A: Working with NBC during the Olympics, it was clear he was thinking about what he could have done if he was competing and also the conditions and how all the athletes were adapting to Covid and to different types of snow. But overall, I was excited to be a part of it again.

Q: What do you think of Mikaela Shiffrin, the skier who broke her records at the World Championships and equaled her at the Crystal Globes?

A: I think records are made to be broken and I’m very proud of my career and what I’ve achieved, but I’m really excited for Mikaela to break my records and I think she’s going to break them by far , so I want her to be better than me in the next generation. Most athletes might disagree, but I think we should leave the sport better than we found it, and the next generation should do the same. And I hope that we will continue to train and generate more and more record-breaking American athletes.

P. You also won a Laureus in 2011, do you consider it comparable to the Crystal Globes?

A. The Laureus Awards are very special, so they are very important to me. It’s something that I think all athletes aspire for, it’s international, it’s global, it’s very meaningful to me and I didn’t expect to win it, so when I won it …I felt very honoured. And then receiving the lifetime achievement award was also amazing, you know, I cried during my acceptance speech. I think mainly because I was retiring and I was sad, but also because I felt very honored, because it is a very important reward for me.

Q: Mandela talked about the power of sport to change the world. Is it the best you’ve ever heard?

A: I believe strongly and without a doubt in what Nelson Mandela said about sport being able to bring the world together in a way that nothing else can. I think we have the power to inspire people and I know it’s different now with Covid and we can’t all physically be in the same space but the Laureus Awards continue to make as much or more sense in this time due to Covid and the situation around the world. It’s a big responsibility for athletes to be able to do that, but I think we have such incredible power that we should use it.


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