Monday, December 9, 2013

Lindsey [Vonn]


Hearing the news about Lindsey was definitely nerve-racking.  We were all relaying messages we heard from Lindsey of her condition.  And while we waited for the doctors results of how severe the damage was of her most recent crash, I didn’t care about her racing, I was just happy she could walk.  The doctors concluded it was a fifty-percent tear in her ACL, which wasn’t the worst case scenario but Lindsey starting the season in Beaver Creek was out of the question.
My family got together in Vail at Bōl for some bowling.  I was selfishly glad for this time to be together.  We calculated that it’s been 11 years since all of us have been in the same place at the same time.  It was nice that Lindsey could relax with us finally.
 Lindsey is an annoyingly good bowler.  Everyone should have been mad that she beat us all by at least a hundred points, but we couldn’t be.  She shows the same concentration and determination in bowling as she does with skiing.  She tries so hard to do her best that you know she deserves it.  Then there is the way she wins.  She doesn’t rub it in your face but has an inward smile of accomplishment.  She doesn’t try to win for anyone else, she does it for herself.
I missed being there at the races with Lindsey but while I watched the girls come down Birds of Prey I realized how much a sport needs a Lindsey Vonn.  Sports need someone who isn’t just a great athlete, but a great person.  Someone who turns the sport around, who makes it their own.  That’s what Lindsey has done for her sport.  She inspired others.
To continuously have a run of bad luck with injuries is beyond exhausting.  Throw out all her globes and medals and just count the times she’s picked herself up starting from zero.  It shows amazing strength and character.
                When I think about her career I remember all the things she’s done that have captured our attention.  Most memorably, the time she won a cow.  It sounds odd writing that, and I’m sure it did to all the reporters and all the readers.  Recently I read an article that asked Lindsey how she felt after her injury and she just answered with “I was pissed.”  I don’t know if it makes it funnier because I know that’s her honest answer or if it’s less funny to a person that doesn’t.  I don’t know if flipping through the tabloids in the grocery isle and seeing a picture of Lindsey putting a squirrel on her boyfriend’s shoulder is the funniest thing in the world to everyone else, but it is to me. Those are the goofy things that make Lindsey fun to write about—she’s always doing something transgressive.
She still wants to race with the men, too. Her second day back on snow after re-tearing her ACL I was watching her train on Golden Peak. She took a few runs and the man she was training with beat her.  She got pretty agitated.  Yeah, Lindsey, you’re mad because you just re-tore your ACL and a man beat you?  She will never stop trying. Not until she gets to that 300, a perfect score.
                Every sport needs someone to push the boundaries, but it’s a little more than that.  It’s someone like Lindsey who treats everything and everyone the same as if she were watching a golf game, going bowling with her family, or winning a gold medal.
                I was waiting for Lindsey to finish all her races this weekend in Lake Louise to write this article, and then I realized that it didn’t really matter.  If she didn’t race I would write this same article, if she won, still, I would write this article, and if she placed exactly how she placed this weekend: 40th, 11th, and 5th, this article would still be the exact same. 
                She has proven to her friends, family, and fans what kind of a person she is but she has firstly, proven it to herself.
Skiing is what Lindsey does, but it is not who she is.  It’s hard for people to look past a name and find the real person.  To me, it’s not “Lindsey Vonn” I don’t know that person besides interviews and reports.  I just see Lindsey, and I want to make sure I put that person in my articles.  The