Lindsey Vonn: “I’m not just Tiger’s girlfriend”

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Despite the budding relationship between Lindsey Vonn and Tiger Woods, the Olympic champ said she’s been able to go relatively unnoticed at this week’s U.S. Open just outside Philadelphia.

“I can be normal by myself; no one notices me,” she told the New York Times Friday. “But wherever he’s around, we’re living in a fishbowl. I didn’t quite know what I was getting myself into. It’s weird. But it’s just something I have to deal with. He has his job, and I have mine. I just have to get used to it.”

She added that things have been going great, was “really happy,” and seemed content to disappear into the throngs of people while following her boyfriend around the course. But Vonn admitted that one thing is bothering her.

“Some people seem to forget that I’m not just Tiger’s girlfriend,” the Vancouver gold medalist explained. “I’m actually a successful athlete. I’m Lindsey. I have my own career and my own life.”

But Vonn says it’s worth it, and went on to argue that, regardless of whether they’re known celebrities or the world’s best athletes in their respective sports, they’re still just a normal, everyday couple.

“Most things are very normal, but something like going out to dinner is next to impossible,” she said. “Unless he wore a wig, I think he’d be recognized.”

Vonn is recovering from an ACL and MCL tear that she suffered at the world championships back in February. She was seen wearing a knee brace when she was following Tiger around Augusta in April, but has since ditched it and claimed she’ll be ready to ski by September. Plenty of time to prepare for Sochi.

“I honestly feel like there will be less pressure on me at these Olympics,” Vonn added. “It helps to have already stood up to that pressure once. The Olympics were the most pressure I’ve ever felt. Tiger lives that kind of pressure every single day. So I can talk to him about that.”

Laurie Hernandez eyes return to competition in 2018

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NEW YORK – Laurie Hernandez hardly considers her 14 months away from competitive gymnastics a break.

Since earning Olympic team gold and balance beam silver in Rio, the 17-year-old won “Dancing with the Stars,” authored a book and even enrolled in ballet lessons.

But her most rewarding experience has been speaking at schools. Students have asked her seemingly every question, from when she started taking gymnastics classes (age 5) to whether she climbed trees when she was younger (yes, all the time).

Seeing how many children were inspired by her Rio performance motivated Hernandez as she prepares to return to the sport.

“I didn’t realize at the Olympics how many people were truly watching,” Hernandez said Wednesday night at the annual Women’s Sports Foundation Salute to Women in Sports. “Now I’m excited to get back into the gym.”

Hernandez recently added handstand holds, back tucks and front flips to her conditioning program, in addition to continuing to run and lift weights.

“It’s a little difficult, but it’s fine,” she said. “I’ll push it a little more after the holidays.”

She has her eye on returning to competition in 2018.

“That’s definitely the hope,” Hernandez said. “I’m not going to rush anything, but I would love to compete in 2018.”

Hernandez, who said her next goal in gymnastics is to compete at the world championships for the first time and hopefully the 2020 Olympics, has not yet identified her comeback meet.

She noted that Aly Raisman took more than two years off after the London Olympics.

“I know every athlete is different,” Hernandez said. “But I wouldn’t mind following in her footsteps.”

Simone Biles, who has not competed since winning four gold medals in Rio, recently announced that she plans on returning to full-time training Nov. 1 and competition next summer.

“I look up to her, even though we are teammates,” Hernandez said. “I can’t wait to see her out there, but hopefully I’ll be out there with her soon.”

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Olympic cycling champion running for Congress

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HARRISBURG, Pa. (AP) — Olympic cycling gold medalist Marty Nothstein is the latest to announce he’s running for the eastern Pennsylvania congressional seat being vacated by fellow Republican U.S. Rep. Charles Dent.

Dent, a former state senator, is a centrist Republican who has held the seat since 2005. He’s retiring after his term expires next year.

Nothstein, who won sprint silver in 1996 and gold in 2000, is the only American track cyclist to win an Olympic title at a fully attended Games.

Two Republican state representatives, Ryan Mackenzie and Justin Simmons, previously announced they’re running for Dent’s 15th District seat.

Democrat Bill Leiner, a former Lehigh County commissioner, is also running.

Dent’s district includes Allentown and all of Lehigh County, and parts of four surrounding counties.

Republicans in 2011 stretched the district almost 90 miles to the Susquehanna River in central Pennsylvania to make it more Republican.

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