11 February, 2018
Vonn, 33, enters the Games on a winning streak having finished first in her last two World Cup races. Last weekend, she won a pair of World Cup downhill races at Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, the latest indication that she is fit and fearless again.
Vonn's only regret is that her grandfather, Don Kildow, won't be able to watch her compete in the country in which he served in the USA military.
She struggled, and it's clear that these emotions, so close to the surface, will provide the backdrop for her performances, which don't get under way until the Super-G on February 17. "I really want to put an exclamation point on my career", said Vonn, who brought her dog Lucy to the session with reporters.
"I would like to compete in everything but I'm not sure if I'm going to have the energy to do that", she said.
Vonn confirmed she felt "really good", but added: "It's not really about me or my career, it's about my grandfather".
"I want to end on a high note", she told a press conference yesterday. I know that he's going to help me. "I'm going to win for him".
"You taught me to be tough, to be kind, and above all, to ski fast", Vonn said in an Instagram post shortly after his death, one of many social media postings hailing the influence of her grandfather, who was ironically stationed not far from the Jeongseon Alpine Centre when he served with the U.S. army during the Korean War. Vonn has won 81 World Cup races. "We have a turn going into a jump which is actually pretty rare, some nice terrain pieces and generally all the jumps are very big, so I think it's a great course".
Even donned the gloves for her flight to South Korea.
"But I figured, she's always with me", Vonn said, "so I need her for the most important event". Now, one more time, she encounters a different set of circumstances.
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While she said she would love to compete in the giant slalom, she said her knee is not up to the task. "She enjoys sleeping a majority of the day".
Vonn said: "I ask them advice a lot".
Risk tolerance. Vonn's body would be in better shape if she didn't tolerate so much risk.
She estimates that she spent the equivalent of about three years on rehabilitation from various injuries; while Vonn reiterated Friday she plans to ski another season to eclipse Stenmark, when she mentioned the word "retirement", it was in the context of how long her knees will hold up.
"She is usually in the hotel room whenever I'm racing".
"I've always been in awe of the Olympics, especially 2002", she said.
Not so much physically exhausted - although that is a constant factor with the daily grind of the World Cup circuit - as she was simply mentally wiped out.
"You're insane", a flabbergasted Shiffrin said when asked about the comparison.
Vonn said her increased mental strength really comes into play when she's in the starting gate.