With raw emotions serving as backdrop, Lindsey Vonn roars into final Olympics

Lindsey Vonn attends her press conference ahead of the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018 on February 9, 2018 in PyeongChang, South Korea.

Vonn, 33, will be competing at her fourth and final Olympics here - having debuted as a teenager in 2002, won downhill gold in 2010 but missed out through injury in Sochi four years ago. The gold she returned in Vancouver eight years ago was the first by an American woman in the downhill.

Vonn smiled and kidded around for much of the half-hour Q-and-A, but her mood changed when she was asked about her grandfather, Don Kildow, who died in November.

There already are plenty of expectations from others heading into her first race, the super-G, on February 17.

"On any World Cup it's hard to predict the victor... but here there's one downhill every fourth year and then it really gets a lot of focus and if there's a prize you remember it longer".

Shiffrin, who is known for her work ethic, said that mental fatigue had also affected her and she had seen a sports psychologist to help with anxiety.

Vonn confirmed she felt "really good", but added: "It's not really about me or my career, it's about my grandfather. And I want to win for him". I would like to win.

Mikaela Shiffrin is rested and ready to bounce back from the uncharacteristic slump that marked her lead up to the Pyeongchang Olympics, where she is a favorite to win multiple medals in alpine skiing.

It's a dog. That's way better than lugging around Tiger Woods in your Vonn-tourage, don't you think?

"Being in a hotel room is often at times extremely hard".

A healthy Vonn has been a rarity the last few years, but her problems have usually been more along the lines of injuries rather than illness.

Even donned the gloves for her flight to South Korea.

"I'm just going to lay it all out there". Before Vonn headed back onto the World Cup circuit last fall, she made what has become an annual sojourn back to their simple house, where she sleeps on a house in the basement.

While she said she would love to compete in the giant slalom, she said her knee is not up to the task. I always have her with me.

"I'm feeling much better, much more like myself", a relaxed Shiffrin told reporters on Saturday.

But the relatively risk-free course could quickly turn unsafe for skiers desperate to make the most of their shot at an Olympic podium by throwing caution to the wind. As he raised his family on a farm in rural Milton, Wisconsin, he built a tiny ski hill with a tow rope. Linsdey Vonn has been an Olympian since she was a teenager. I'm not going to be nervous. My main focus this year was exclusively on the Olympics and I'm very happy with how I feel physically, mentally.

"I obviously have been waiting a very long time for these Olympics", Vonn said.

  • Essie Rivera