Vonn, With Her Dog Watching, Says She's Ready for Her Last Olympics

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"I put more pressure on myself than anyone put on me". "I'm just trying to stay healthy". "Last weekend was just the icing on the cake".

Her relentless thirst for speed, inculcated by her late grandfather, has caught up with her in the latter part of her career with serious injuries to her right knee in 2013 and 2014, which kept her out of the Olympics, and her right arm, which she broke in 2016. Now, one more time, she encounters a different set of circumstances. Beyond that, her knees will tell her when to quit. 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.

Shiffrin knew it was time for a bit of a break when she went off-course with only a handful of gates left in a slalom at Lenzerheide, Switzerland, on January 28. "I'm not sure if I'm actually going to have the energy to do that".

When Vonn's trip to South Korea turned into a 24-hour ordeal of that special frustration that is an airline delay, there was a moment or two when she wondered if bringing Lucy along for the ride was a great idea. "I always have her with me", said Vonn, whose dog has been her constant companion for the past 18 months, from her home in Vail to stops throughout Europe on the World Cup circuit. Then she struck gold in Vancouver.

Appropriately enough for a woman seeking official FIS sanction to race against men in the downhill, Vonn races on men's skis.

"It has long sweeping turns, some nice tactical sections", she said. "I'm proud to be your granddaughter and I will think of you always". "It just now depends on weather and snow conditions, but the men said it was awesome".

But she chose to sit out the giant slalom, saying that her knee "is just not really in a place to do that".

"I'm coming in on a hot streak", the 33-year-old said.

Her Olympic history is covered in more crashes than glory. "It's what I think about the first thing when I wake up and it's what I think about when I go to sleep".

Mikaela Shiffrin is probably the face of Team USA in the 2018 Winter Olympics, and it used to be Lindsey Vonn.

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"I would like to compete in everything", she said.

"I've been waiting a very long time for these Olympics. I'm still in that position right now". Questions about Don Kildow, and the tears they prompted were inevitable following Vonn's use of social media to pay tribute to the man who first put her on skis as a two-year-old in Wisconsin. He passed away in November.

"I really hoped he'd have been alive to see me, but I know he's watching and I know he's going to help me, and I'm going to win for him".

Shiffrin said she confronts anxiety - "a lot more mental stress these last two years than I ever had" - by working with a sports psychologist.

Vonn said she was fortunate early in her career not to suffer many injuries, but "these last few years have really dinged me up".

Having spent the best part of three years in rehabilitation since 2012, Vonn left no one in any doubt about her focus.

"When I warm up in the morning, I need to warm up my knee first for 15 minutes, then I have to bike and have to stretch", she said. She has skied through personal strife and physical disaster. I've overcome a lot and I know what I'm capable of. "I'm feeling much better, much more like myself".

She also finds comfort in traveling with her dog Lucy, who also accompanied her to the press conference.

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

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