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Lindsey Vonn is a great skier, arguably one of the greatest of all time. And while it’s easy to point to her ski racing career as her defining endeavor, she doesn’t make it that easy for us. In addition to winning three Olympic medals and 82 World Cup races (in all five disciplines of alpine skiing, mind you), she’s written a New York Times bestseller, was a correspondent on the Today show, and started the Lindsey Vonn Foundation—all before she retired in 2019.
And in true Lindsey Vonn style, she hasn’t let retirement slow her down. Now, she’s busy filling her time with a foray into fashion, fitness, and film, among other things. Since retiring, Vonn has founded production company Après Productions and directed a documentary on Picabo Street; she’s getting into sports politics, headlining Salt Lake City’s 2030 Olympic bid; and above all, she seems to be trying her hand at a number of new sports—from wakesurfing to climbing to, wait for it—skiing for fun.
As you’d expect from the woman who told Self back in 2014, “If you go around being afraid, you’re never going to enjoy life. You have only one chance, so you’ve got to have fun,” Vonn seems to be up for trying everything and anything. Here’s a little peek into her life post-retirement (although we’d argue, she seems to be busier than ever).
Heli-skiing in Iceland
Leave it to Vonn to figure out how to take heli-skiing up a notch. Last month, she took advantage of Iceland’s 24-hours of summer sun to go heliskiing—at 1 a.m. As the “midnight sun” began to set, casting a beautiful orange glow on the snow-capped peak, Vonn enjoyed an adrenaline-inducing helicopter drop and harvesting some pretty delicious spring corn.
Vonn, who’s no stranger to ski resorts and mountains the world over, admitted that heli-skiing in Iceland was an entirely unique experience, posting “Been on many mountains but this was once in a lifetime… skiing at 1AM in Iceland.”
Searching for speed at Formula 1
If there’s anything Vonn’s history as an athlete has shown it’s that she doesn’t shy away from speed—in fact, she welcomes it. So it’s no surprise that she (along with the rest of the world) has become a fan of Formula 1 racing, even traveling to Miami to catch some rays and watch the races. Of course, Vonn isn’t likely to be just your average bystander at an event like this.
Backstage, she was seen doing reaction tests with F1 World Champion and fellow Red Bull athlete, Max Verstappen. She even got into the driver’s seat of a simulator. In an earlier post, Vonn made her interest in the sport abundantly clear, noting, “Seriously excited for this week… a lot of hard work but the reward at the end is a weekend of Formula 1!”
Heading up an Olympic Bid
In mid-June, Vonn traveled to Lausanne, Switzerland to meet with the International Olympic Committee (IOC). Her goal? To pitch Salt Lake City as a possible destination for the 2030 Winter Olympic Games. Vonn, who now lives in Park City, Utah, is joined in her efforts by Park City native and ski racer Ted Ligety, among others.
In an Instagram photo of her shaking hands with IOC President Thomas Bach, Vonn also announced that she is “officially the Chairman of the Athlete Experience for the potential Salt Lake games.”
Climbing in Costa Rica
No snow? No problem. The snow bunny switched gears in March, leaving spring skiing behind for a trip to Costa Rica. Never one to be idle for long, Vonn climbed to the top of a jungle canopy on an excursion with Hacienda AltaGracia.
After reaching the top and snapping a photo of the view over the trees, Vonn appeared to pause midway down the 100-foot rappel to call out pro snowboarder and friend Shaun White on Instagram, writing, “Hey @shaunwhite, they said I climbed the tree faster… just sayin…”
Going behind the lens
As if heli-skiing, F1 racing, and climbing weren’t enough, Vonn has also lent her hand to the arts, co-directing a sports documentary on legendary skier, Picabo Street.
Street, a former World Cup alpine ski racer and Olympic gold medalist, has long been Vonn’s mentor and has become a close friend. In advance of the film’s release in January 2022, Vonn’s production company, Apreś Productions, dug up an old photo taken of Vonn and Street back when Street was at the peak of her career and Vonn was just a teen.
Vonn tested her driving skills and navigation know-how in the Land Rover TReK Off-road Competition on the expansive Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina in late 2021. Vonn and her all-female team—she was joined by ski mountaineer Hilaree Nelson and adventure journalist Alyssa Roenigk—challenged themselves (and their customized Land Rover Defender) during a week of off-roading and team building.
Vonn posted a photo of her and the car, her team, and the competition map on Instagram with the caption: “I’m a woman that loves an adventure. This off roading competition was a blast!”
Swapping skis for a board
She may be known for her speed and finesse on two planks, but Vonn swapped out her skis for a board while wakesurfing last summer. It’s no surprise the Olympic athlete caught on quickly, dropping the rope and surfing the wave like a pro.
Vonn summed up her way of approaching the new sport and life in general in a brief Instagram caption, noting “It’s summer … first time without the rope… always have to find a new challenge.”