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Q&A: Kildow on Medals, Medicals, Marriage


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Two-time Olympian Lindsey Kildow (Vail, CO) won three more World Cup races during the 2007 season, but her biggest success came at the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in Sweden when she earned the silver medal in downhill and super G. They were her first major championships medals. Unfortunately, four days after the DH, Kildow injured her right knee in slalom training and missed the last month of the season. Kildow, who’s engaged to marry 2002 Olympian Thomas Vonn, is rehabbing her knee with low-level conditioning and looks to be on snow by the annual training camp in New Zealand in midsummer.

Hometown: Vail, CO
Age: 22
Peak Performance: Double silver (DH, SG) at the 2007 World Championships
Latest book read: Outlander by Diana Gabaldon (“{Women’s physio} Christa Riepe gave it to me; it’s kind of a chick book with women traveling back to the 1700s”)
PLAYSTATON 3 or a book? Some video games can be pretty fun, but I think reading is the most fun.
Favorite meal: I’ve been cooking a lot lately – steak, mashed potatoes, rice…Vonn really likes it. We eat a lot of salads, too.
Favorite thing to cook? Banana bread. It’s really fun to make, just super easy and the boys (Vonn and friends) love it. It’s good, it’s quick and it’s good to eat. I use a low-fat recipe, apple sauce instead of butter; that keeps it moist but not fatty.
You’re hosting dinner. What three people do you invite? Roger Federer. Tiger Woods. Picabo (Street, Kildow’s ex-teammate and her heroine from childhood).
Chocolate or ice cream? Why not a combination of the two?
Favorite actor or actress: Christian Bale – he’s so good. And the main guy from 300 (Gerard Butler, the Spartan king, Leonidas)
So, is Gladiator still your favorite movie? It’s still a favorite but 300 has moved to my No. 1 movie. It’s pretty gory but those guys were amazing.
Fish or meat? Oh, meat. I’m a Heartland girl – red meat all the way.

USSA: An obvious question: how’s the recovery coming?
Kildow: Everything’s going really well. I’m just biking, doing low-key stuff, staying in shape but I haven’t moved to weights yet. That’ll come (in May). I have a stationary bike in front of the TV, so I spin a while, depending on how I feel. If my knee’s sore – it gets swollen – I don’t go as long, but things are fine.

USSA: And a timetable for returning to skiing?
Kildow: I’m planning to go to the first major Ski Team camp – New Zealand. That’ll be my first time back. When you’ve done the volume, as I have through the years, you need to get back on snow, but you don’t need the volume when you were younger. I really like New Zealand – everyone speaks English, which is awesome, and we get great training space. Last year, we had a full-length super G course, which was epic.

USSA: How big a relief was it to get not just one but two medals at Worlds?
Kildow: Really big. I’ve been working so hard and so long to succeed at that level. The Olympics in 2006 (when she crashed in downhill training) were disappointing and I was, like, ‘Wow, is this ever gonna happen?’ You can only work so hard for so long, but finally luck came my way. In super G (the first race), I was really relieved. In downhill, that huge mistake (in midrace) I made was dumb but I skied really well on the bottom, and that was fun. I wasn’t nervous…I just turned off my brain and was on auto-pilot. That’s what you want; for me, it’s what works best – if I’m relaxed, go into auto-mode. The more I think, the more I get nervous.


USSA: You’ve won the last three seasons at Lake Louise. What’s with you and the Canadian Rockies?
Kildow: I’m not sure, but I just like it a lot. It’s the hill where I feel the most comfort on – and that shows in my results. I don’t have to think about it (intensity, focus) – it’s juust there when I get to Louise.

USSA: Ironically, you had a bad early season crash there that knocked you out of the 2003 Worlds.
Kildow: That crash was bad luck, just poor timing in terms of me initiating the turn (for the final straightaway through rolling terrain to the finish), but being flexible definitely helped me on it. I felt that was a turning point for me. Coming out of there, I realized I had to be in shape, and always mentally ready and physically ready. It was tough being sent back to Europa Cups and watching the World Championships on TV; it was not an easy time but it made me more committed…more professional. It made me want to succeed.

USSA: Have you and Thomas set a wedding date or picked a site where you’ll be married?
Kildow: What? No, we’re just finishing shopping for furniture. We haven’t even started that other stuff. We’re still working on it. That’s my new mission.

USSA: So, which is tougher – racing in the Olympics, Worlds and World Cup…or planning a wedding?
Kildow: Oh, slam-dunk – planning my wedding. Skiing’s way easier than that. The wedding stuff is so stressful: who to invite, where to have it, who sits where – all that stuff’s so tough. My mother does calligraphy, so she’s helping with the invitations.

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