An Interview With Lindsey Vonn

Ski racer Lindsey Vonn was just named Female Athlete of the Decade by NBC's Universal Sports. After months of waiting for an interview, we finally managed to get Vonn to answer some of our questions. But instead of asking her about the Vancouver Olympics coming up in February, we spoke to the two-time World Champion about what it's like being hounded by the press.
Lindsey Vonn en route to victory.

Ski racer and two-time World Champion Lindsey Vonn has been in the spotlight ever since she took a bad crash while downhill training at the 2006 Winter Olympics. When she cut her hand on a bottle of champagne after winning World Champs, the press covered it. There's no wonder why. This is the racer who elected to take a cow instead of prize money after winning at Val d’Isère in 2005. And now, she's been named Female Athlete of the Decade by NBC's Universal Sports (joining Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt, the world's fastest man, for the 10-year honor). We've been pestering Vonn for months now for an interview. Finally, we got our chance to speak to her about Conan O'Brian's hair, the dumbest thing she's said in an interview, and why everyone always asks about her cows.

Skiers aren’t normally used to the kind of media attention you’re getting. Do you have someone who helps coach you on what to say in interviews?
I have a pretty good support team with my husband, my agent, the U.S. Ski Team, and all of my personal sponsors, but figuring out the right thing to say has never been that hard. It's pretty important that I'm always me, but I do take time before interviews to think about what I want to say.

Do you feel like you’re used to the spotlight now? Or is it still surprising when you see your face on a national television ad?
I don't think I'll ever get used to that, especially when people come up to me and tell me about a commercial they saw or a picture in a magazine. I spend so much time in Europe that I don't actually get to see a lot of the things that come out in the U.S., so it's always cool to get emails and Facebook fans telling me about where they saw me.

What’s the dumbest thing you’ve said in an interview?
I don't know if I could pick a certain instance. Mostly these happen when I'm doing interviews in German and I think that what I'm saying is right, but then when I see it in print later, I'm like, oh my god, that's not what I meant to say.

How was it being on the Tonight Show with Conan O’Brian?
He is hilarious all the time. When I first met him, I just raised my hand and said I have to touch it (his hair) and he just bowed and said, 'You may.' And he had to bow a long way. I'm not a short person, but Conan is really tall and his hair makes him like a foot taller. I was pretty nervous to do the show. All I could think about was 'don't trip on the stairs.’ I don't wear heels all that often.

A reporter from the L.A. Times recently described you as “a statuesque brunet behind sunglasses.” I’d say you’re a blond, no? You must have to deal with a ton of mistakes in print?
There are always going to be small mistakes, but it's cool. I mean, I'm a ski racer and the L.A. Times is sending reporters to Colorado to cover me and my sport. That's pretty cool.

Is there a question that you wish reporters would ask you during interviews but they never do?
They never ask me what I like to cook. I'm a pretty good cook even though I don't get all that much time to practice.

What’s the one question all reporters ask that you’re bored of answering?
I get asked about my cows all the time, but I guess my cows keep having more cows, so the story keeps going.

On a scale of 1 to 10, how was this interview? More interesting than normal? About average?
I'll give it a 10, but you have to make me a deal. Skiing needs more coverage of the U.S. Ski Team and ski racing! What can I say, the kids like to go fast.


Vonn Shin

Exclusive Interview: 5 Minutes With Lindsey Vonn’s Shin

It’s official: the biggest story at the Olympics is Lindsey Vonn’s shin. It has received more coverage than the nations of Latvia, Montenegro, Moldova, and San Marino. But here's what it, and the rest of the media, isn't telling you.

Julia Mancuso

Vonn Crashes; Julia Cries in Women's GS

It was an unlucky day for America's two top female ski racers: Lindsey Vonn crashed into the fence during the GS race and obstructed the run of her teammate Julia Mancuso, who was granted a rerun but finished a disappointing 1.30 seconds behind the current leader. The second run of the race takes place Thursday.


An Interview with Glen Plake

We spoke to Glen Plake, a pioneer of extreme skiing and the spokesperson for January as “Learn a Snow Sports” month, as he was boarding a flight to Moscow, Russia, about Midwestern ski areas, high school ski racing, and why skiing isn’t a sport just for the filthy rich.

Vonn in gold, Mancuso in silver

Women's Downhill: Vonn Takes Gold, Mancuso Takes Silver

After a much hyped shin injury (Lindsey Vonn) and a made-for-TV rivalry (Lindsey and fellow racer Julia Mancuso), the results of today's women's downhill from the Winter Olympic Games in Whistler are finally in. We're so thankful all the hype was worth it.

Dylan Crossman at Kirkwood

An Interview with Dylan Crossman

Big-mountain skier Dylan Crossman recently won the North American Freeskiing Championships at Kirkwood, California. This weekend, he’s competing at the Freeskiing World Championships at Snowbird, Utah, the last stop on this winter’s Freeskiing World Tour. We spoke to him about mountain-bike-assisted ski touring and what it's like having a couloir in Austria named after you.

Lindsey Vonn en route to victory.

Lindsey Vonn on the Tonight Show

What do ski racer Lindsey Vonn, Uncle Cracker, and actor Chris O'Donnell all have in common? They'll were all on the Tonight Show this week.

Bode Miller's Dad

Behind the Scenes with Bode: An Interview with Bode's Dad

With a gold medal from Sunday's super combined at the Winter Olympics in Whistler, Bode Miller is smashing the record for the most medals earned by an American ski racer. We sat down with Bode's dad to talk about how Bode got into skiing, his biggest weaknesses, and why he didn't show up to the event celebrating his medal.


Lindsey vs. Julia: Catfight?

One girl's a media darling with a banged up shin and a medley of World Cup victories. The other is a Victoria's Secret-style vixen with a bad back and a gold medal. Ski racer Lindsey Vonn wants what Julia Mancuso's already got: an Olympic gold. You can watch them go head to head during Wednesday's Olympic downhill in Whistler.