Lindsey Vonn: now the most successful American alpine skier ever. At the tender age of 27, she has already achieved gold medals in all five disciplines of alpine skiing, won three consecutive overall World Cup and downhill championships, and won 45 World Cup races in her career. The list goes on. However, as lifestyle magazine The Red Bulletin finds out, there’s far more to Lindsey ”The Don” Vonn.
The following is an excerpt from the current issue of The Red Bulletin, available now:
‘It’s been two years since Vonn won the downhill gold medal at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics with an exhortative scream and a jubilant tumble in the snow. But now the 27-year-old finds herself in unfamiliar territory. In a sport that usually only receives the laser-like attention of the American public and media every four years, she remains in the spotlight as one of the country’s pre-eminent female athletes.
She’s won the ESPY (Excellence in Sports Performance Yearly award from US TV channel ESPN) for Best Female Athlete for two years running, she is a regular fixture at Hollywood events and can often be found clowning around with other top pro athletes in adverts.
This is what it means to be an elite female athlete at the dawn of 2012: it’s not enough to be a fierce and successful competitor. You can win enough Olympic medals to make the European Central Bank envious, you can serve a tennis ball at 130mph (209kph), you can throw off your helmet and brawl in the pitlane with the best of NASCAR – but, by God, you’d better also knock ’em dead in a dress…
“Women in sports is still a young profession,” says Los Angeles-based movie publicist Jeff Freedman, whose recent clients include films that involve both actors and athletes: Moneyball, Real Steel and the yet to be released Haywire. “The notoriety that male athletes get automatically, female athletes have to work to get,” he adds. “And if you’re playing off your notoriety, you have to have something to play off.”
Vonn’s notoriety is quite straightforward: she has helped redefine the title of America’s Sweetheart as someone who can flash a big smile and still maintain a complete and total willingness to kick your ass.
And for now, at least, her participation in the celebrity maelstrom is more about enjoyment than obligation.’
To read the article in full, visit www.theredbulletin.com. Alternatively, a print version The Red Bulletin is available to purchase now.