When she was a rising star in the world of skiing, everyone knew who Lindsey Vonn was – she was the gorgeous blonde all-American superstar who was breaking records left and right and accumulating countless medals and trophies. And then, after he had split with former wife Elin Nordegren in an extremely public scandal, she eventually ended up dating pro golfer Tiger Woods. Her romantic relationship with Woods made her a household name – suddenly, even people who didn’t follow professional skiing whatsoever knew exactly who Lindsey Vonn was.
Nowadays, she’s become one of the few professional athletes who transcends the world of athletics. Sure, training and competing is the majority of her day, but she’s also often spotted on the red carpet of various events in the entertainment industry, such as the Met Gala. She’s been featured in spreads in the famous Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue and has lent her face to several brands over the years.
Vonn has been competing for over twenty years (which is quite the accomplishment, considering she’s only 31) and she shows no signs of slowing down. She’s battled through public break-ups, serious injuries, and more, and she just keeps coming out on top. While you may know her name, here are 15 things you might not know about Lindsey Vonn.
15 She Owns A Herd Of Cows
Many professional athletes have pets, but this is taking it to a new level. Back in 2005, over 10 years ago, Vonn won a competition in Val d’Isere, France, and was given a choice in terms of her prize – either a 5,000 Euro check, or… a cow. While most athletes would likely go for the money, Vonn decided to take the cow, which she named Olympe. Vonn’s prize was a female cow, and soon ended up pregnant, and Vonn named the calf Sunny. Then, there was another calf, who Vonn named after her sister Karin. Then, there were another two calves, and she won a new baby cow in Val d’Isere in another competition, which she named Winnie in homage to her physiotherapist. Long story short, while she’s not about to give up her ski career to become a farmer, Vonn does have a small herd of cows that reside in Austria. Who would’ve guessed?
14 She Went Through Rehab With A Four-legged Friend
Most Lindsey Vonn fans will know that she’s had her fair share of injuries over the course of her career, including a serious knee injury that required quite a bit of rehab work to get it back to full strength. Well, rehab can be a difficult process, so Vonn decided to make things easier by adopting her dog, Leo, from an animal shelter. You see, while Leo wasn’t a pro skier, he had a knee injury as well – his was the result of getting hit in a parking lot. Leo Vonn had a knee operation for his injury, and together the two recovered. It’s always easier when you have a partner helping you along, right? While Leo is still relatively young, as Vonn got him when he was a puppy in 2014, he’s been through thick and thin with his owner, so we’re betting they’ll stick together for years to come.
13 She Guest Starred On Law & Order
Professional athletes are more involved in the entertainment industry than they have ever been. While many pro athletes focus solely on their athletic performance and perhaps athletic sponsorship deals or endorsements, bigger name athletes are given tons of opportunities, from talk show slots to becoming brand ambassadors for certain products to being offered the chance to be photographed in a high fashion spread. Vonn, who has always been a big fan of the television show Law & Order, was given the chance to guest star in the series’ final episode, playing an administrative assistant. Apparently, Vonn enjoyed the process so much that she stated acting wasn’t outside the realm of possibility in the future – and with her blonde good looks and killer physique, we have a feeling casting agents would come running. Perhaps if she ever gets tired of skiing she can trade in her skis and time spent in chilly climates for sunny Los Angeles.
12 She’s A Big Tennis Fan
Pretty much every professional athlete knows who the big shots are within their own sport. They study them, they know their stats, and they try to find out what exactly it will take to beat them. After all, that’s their job. However, most professional athletes also have certain sports that they just enjoy watching – and for Lindsey Vonn, that sport is tennis. Vonn is apparently a huge tennis fan, and an even bigger fan of Roger Federer in particular. Being a professional athlete herself, Vonn must have had some contacts in common with the tennis legend, because she ended up getting the chance to challenge him to a tennis match. While Federer definitely bested her, Vonn held her own and likely impressed her idol – and there’s no beating that. Perhaps Federer should challenge Vonn to see who can hurtle down the slopes with the most skill and grace (our bets are on Lindsey).
11 She Has Four Siblings – And Three Of Them Are Triplets
If you’ve ever seen a photo of Lindsey Vonn and her baby sister Karin, you may think that she has a twin she hasn’t told the public about because Lindsey and Karin look way, way too similar. However, it turns out that those two look-a-likes aren’t the multiples in the family – that would be her other siblings. Vonn actually has four siblings, and three of them – her two brothers and her other sister – are actually triplets! It certainly wouldn’t have been easy taking that many kids from skiing lesson to skiing lesson as Lindsey embarked on her professional skiing career early in life, so all the more props to her amazing mom and dad! Nowadays, Lindsey Vonn may be the only household name amongst the siblings, but we’re betting that when she goes home to spend time with her family she’s just plain old Lindsey, one amongst five wonderful siblings.
10 Her Favourite Food Is Ice Cream
In order to keep their bodies in amazing physical condition and keep their performance at their peak level, professional athletes need to be incredibly aware of what they’re putting into their bodies. After all, food is fuel, and if they’re constantly scarfing junk food, they’re not fuelling their bodies very well, and pretty soon they won’t be performing up to the necessary standards. So, not surprisingly, Lindsey Vonn’s regular diet likely consists of a lot of lean meats, vegetables, and starches like sweet potatoes. However, she does have one indulgence – ice cream. Apparently, her love for all things cold and frosty goes beyond the slopes, and ice cream is actually her food of choice when she’s looking to treat herself. What’s her favourite flavour? According to an interview with Bon Appetit, Vonn has a killer appetite thanks to all that training she does, and when it comes to ice cream flavours, she is all about Ben and Jerry’s Cherry Garcia.
9 She Loves To Scuba Dive
Most professional athletes are just all around athletic individuals, Sure, they’ve attained mastery over the particular skills that their sport of choice requires. However, they can usually hold their own at most sports due to their sheer athleticism – they just enjoy being physical and active. While Lindsey Vonn spends most of her time training on the snowy slopes, when it comes to her down time, she likes to head somewhere a bit more tropical to get in the warm water and go scuba diving. The view from under the water is completely different than what she sees when she’s swishing down the mountain carving up the powder, but perhaps that’s exactly what she likes about it – it’s a complete change of pace. Perhaps her next Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue spread (because you know there’s going to be at least a few more, based on how popular the first ones were) can incorporate scuba diving.
8 She Set An Impressive Record At Just 14 Years Old
When it comes to skiing, Lindsey Vonn wasn’t exactly a late bloomer. She was raised in a family of skiers, was basically on skis before she could even walk, and started racing when she was just seven years old. So, it might not come as a surprise to know that Vonn rose in the ranks very quickly – and was soon setting records. You see, when Vonn was 14 years old, she competed in the Trofeo Topolino competition in Italy – and she won. Not only was it quite the accomplishment for a young skier, it also made her the first American woman to snag the title – now that’s really something to brag about. When that’s the way you start off your professional skiing career, it only makes sense that you’d soon be winning medal after medal, title after title, as you get older and more skilled on the course and truly achieve mastery of your talent.
7 Before Dating Tiger Woods, She Was Married To Another Pro Athlete
Professional athletes tend to flock to one another – they understand each other’s lifestyle, they get the rigors of competition, and they know what it takes to get to the top and how much dedication is required. So, even though he went through a ton of scandal, it almost made sense that Lindsey Vonn ended up dating pro golfer Tiger Woods for several years. However, before that happened, Vonn was actually married to another professional athlete – a skier, to be specific. You see, while most know her as Lindsey Vonn, the blonde bombshell was born Lindsey Kildow. She only became Lindsey Vonn after marrying fellow professional skier Thomas Vonn. Her former husband was nine years her senior and was a huge cause of strife between Lindsey and her father, who didn’t approve of the marriage. The two parted ways after about four years of marriage, and everyone is always wondering who Vonn will set her sights on next.
6 She’s Fluent In German
While professional surfers spend a ton of their time in places where English is the primary spoken language, like Australia, California, or Hawaii, skiers spend a lot of time in alpine countries such as Austria, Switzerland, and Germany, where many of the inhabitants speak primarily German. So, when Vonn was vacationing in Garmisch, Germany with fellow skier Maria Riesch, she started to learn German. Vonn visits Riesch in Germany on a regular basis and has managed to attain a fairly good knowledge of the German language. She has even conducted interviews in German, something we bet skiing fans in German-speaking countries get a kick out of. Any time she feels her grasp on the language slipping, all she needs to do is go visit her pal Maria for a week or two, and we bet she gets right back to it. Perhaps she can even practice her German skills on her herd of cows?
5 She’s Battled Depression
With her blonde hair and wide smile, Lindsey Vonn seems like a burst of sunshine whenever she steps in front of the camera or onto the slopes. However, even those who seem the happiest might be experiencing personal demons you know nothing about – including Vonn. Apparently, depression runs in her family, and since about 2002, despite absolutely killing it in the pro sports world and winning competition after competition, she suffered from depression. While some people can help cure a mild case of the blues with healthier lifestyle choices and regular exercise, it’s safe to say that wasn’t Vonn’s problem – she had a real, serious issue. She eventually sought treatment in about 2008 when she realized she just couldn’t handle it on her own anymore, and now she manages her illness by taking anti-depressant medication. More and more celebrities have been stepping up and speaking out about mental health issues in an attempt to reduce the stigma and fear around discussing them, and Vonn is a proud member of that group.
4 She Loves Frozen Yogurt
Perhaps it’s her affinity for all things icy, but Vonn certainly likes her frozen treats. While she has stated before that ice cream is her absolute favourite food, it seems she has a soft spot for frozen yogurt as well. So, when it comes to her fro yo order, what makes the perfect treat for Lindsey Vonn? Well, none of that fruit nonsense – she’s looking to truly satisfy her sweet tooth when it comes to lower calorie dessert options. Forget sorbets or fruity flavours – she’s going straight for chocolate-vanilla swirl, cake batter, or red velvet to build her perfect fro yo base. And then, don’t even try to put fruit on top of it – amongst the other toppings, she always, always includes M&Ms and Reese’s Pieces to finish things off. A woman after our own hearts. Given how intensely she trains, we bet she can put on as many toppings as she wants without worrying about the calories she’s packing into her bowl.
3 She’s Been Linked To A Hunky Viking
Given her previous highly public relationship with professional golfer Tiger Woods, we bet Lindsey Vonn is going to be keeping things a bit more on the down low when it comes to her next relationship. However, when you’ve become a household name like Lindsey Vonn has, it’s tough to keep things secret from the paparazzi – they’re always watching to see what juicy tidbit they can dig up. While her previous two serious relationships have been with fellow professional athletes, it seems that Vonn may be branching out a bit lately and looking towards Hollywood for her next dreamy partner. She was spotted with Vikings star Alexander Ludwig, a rising talent in Hollywood who is quite a few years younger than Vonn. While Vonn has said the two are just friends, the amount of time they spend together –grabbing dinner, going to basketball games – might indicate something a little more romantic.
2 Skiing Runs In Her Blood
Sometimes, a professional athlete has talent that comes seemingly out of nowhere and they stun their families at an early age by excelling in whatever sport they end up making a career out of. For Lindsey Vonn, things were a little bit different. Both her father and her grandfather were competitive skiers, so they knew all the tips and tricks to help a young Lindsey when she first strapped on a pair of skis and took to the mountain tops. While she’s since gone on to hire coaches and trainers to help her truly excel and make sure she’s performing at her peak level, we bet that a lot of her early childhood lessons were given by her father and grandfather – before they realized that they had a true talent on their hands and quickly got her serious coaching. The family that skis together stays together, perhaps? We wonder how Lindsey’s siblings fare on the mountain!
1 She Spends An Insane Amount Of Time At The Gym
There’s no other way to say this – athletes spend an absolutely ridiculous amount of their lives training. After all, their entire livelihood and career is based on keeping their bodies in peak physical condition, so it only makes sense that they’d hit the gym hard to make sure they can stay at the top of their game. However, Lindsey Vonn always seems so relaxed and breezy that it’s easy to forget how much of her day is spent training hard. During the winter months, she spends about two hours a day in the gym, and the rest of it is spent hitting the slopes – rigorous, but not too crazy. However, in the non-winter months when she’s not able to swoop down the mountains on her skis, Vonn spends about six hours a day in the gym, five or six days a week. No wonder her body is so amazing! It takes true dedication to drag yourself to the gym for that long.
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