Lindsay Vonn on how a childhood meeting with Picabo Street changed her life

·2 min read

Lindsay Vonn's new memoir moves at a rapid pace — but that's just what readers expect from the world's most decorated female ski racer.

Rise chronicles her journey from small-town Minnesota (with nary a mountain in sight) up through the ranks of competitive skiing, all the way to the World Cup and the Olympics. She discusses the physical perils of her dangerous profession and all of the emotional obstacles she tackled in her quest to raise the profile of women's skiing.

To mark the book's release, Vonn dropped by the EW studios to reflect on the people who helped get her where she is today and the valuable wisdom she gained along the way.

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HarperCollins

On what she learned from being a pro athlete:

"I think my experience as a skier has shaped me as a woman. Psychologically, I have a certain toughness that I've developed through skiing, and it's made me the person that I am."

On the best advice she's ever gotten:

"It's from my ski coach: he told me just to ski the way I do. I took that for my skiing career, but I also use it in my life — to stay true to who I am."

On her childhood role models:

"Picabo Street was my idol growing up — I met her at an autograph signing when I was nine years old, and it changed my life. I went home that night and told my dad I wanted to be in the Olympics, and we made a plan. I started the Lindsay Vonn Foundation based on that experience with Picabo — having her empower me in such a short period of time is what I wanted to give back to others. Having that type of impact is the best thing I've done in my career."

On the moment she felt most empowered:

"The year after my divorce was the first time I felt in charge of my own career and, I felt like, my life. I had had a lot of people say that I couldn't do anything without a man by my side, and I went on to have the best season of my career. I was on top of the world and felt like I got there all by myself."

On the pro athlete more people should know about:

"Allyson Felix. Since she broke the record of having the most summer Olympic medals in history I think she's gotten more attention, but she deserves so much more. What she went through in becoming a mother, and with sponsors, and how she stood up for herself and used her voice was really inspirational."

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