Born Oct. 18, 1984 in St. Paul, Minn. as Lindsey Kildow. She started skiing at 2, with encouragement from her father, Alan Kildow, who was a competitive skier before blowing out his knee. At 11, she moved to Vail, Colo. to practice on bigger hills.
When Vonn was 10, she met Picabo Street, who went on to win the 1998 Olympic super-G gold medal. Street inspired Vonn to start training harder. Vonn even framed her picture with Street in her bedroom.
Vonn was the youngest member of the U.S. women’s Alpine team when she made her Olympic debut in 2002 at 17. She finished sixth in combined. No other U.S. female Alpine skier had a better result.
Four years later, she was helicoptered to a hospital after a serious crash in downhill training at the 2006 Torino Games. Showing her toughness, she returned to the slopes days later and finished eighth in downhill.
Vonn won her first two Olympic medals at the 2010 Vancouver Games. She became the first U.S. woman to win an Olympic downhill gold medal. She also claimed bronze in super-G.
A right knee injury forced Vonn to miss the 2014 Olympics. Instead she went to Sochi as an Olympic correspondent for NBC.
Vonn claimed both of her world championship titles in 2009, in downhill and super-G. She became the first U.S. woman to win a super-G world championship.
Vonn claimed the first World Cup victory of her career in Lake Louise, Alberta on Dec. 2, 2014. She has since won 17 more World Cup races in Lake Louise. She often calls Lake Louise her favorite course, and it is even nicknamed “Lake Lindsey.” She has posted #ILoveLakeLouise on social media multiple times:
Vonn has won more World Cup races than any other woman. Now she is targeting the record held by Sweden’s Ingemar Stenmark.
Vonn is a big fan of animals.
She has three dogs: Lucy, Leo and Bear. Fans can keep up with the Vonn dogs by following vonndogs on Instagram.
She has also earned two cows, Olympe and Winnie, by winning World Cup races in Val d’Isere, France. Olympe gave birth to two more cows, and Vonn now owns three generation of cows. She keeps them in Kirchberg, Austria, where she often trains.
Vonn has often said that she would like the opportunity to race against men.
2010: Downhill gold medal, super-G bronze medal
2006: No medals
2002: No medals
Off the mountain
Vonn has become one of the most visible Winter Olympians off the slopes. She wrote a health and lifestyle book, “Strong Is the New Beautiful.” She posed in Sports Illustrated’s swimsuit issue, and even did pull-ups wearing nothing but body paint:
She speaks fluent German, which she calls the “language of ski racing.”