What’s next for Vonn? ‘It’s all about pushing myself’

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ARE, Sweden (AP) — Actor. Businesswoman. Mom. All three?

Life after skiing is already taking shape for Lindsey Vonn and she only completed her skiing career a day ago.

“Next goal, take on the world,” Vonn said, perhaps jokingly — but who’d put it past her? — when discussing what the future holds for her when she retires after the world championships in Sweden.

One thing’s for sure: She’s unlikely to be slipping out of the limelight.

“I’m a driven person,” said Vonn, who has 1.6 million Instagram followers and, at the height of her career in 2013, was worth $3 million, according to Forbes. “I’m not going to be sitting on the couch, twiddling my thumbs. That would be boring. It’s all about pushing myself.”

Just like it was all or nothing in her record-setting skiing career— her current shiner around her right eye and the highlight reel of crashes are testament to that — Vonn intends to immerse herself in lots of things once she puts away her racing suit.

She said she’ll be setting up her own business, which involves a “new project” that she is keeping under wraps for the moment. Attending a four-day course at Harvard Business School last year was an early signal of her post-skiing intentions.

“I hope one day,” Vonn said, “they say, ‘OK, she was a skier a long time ago, and now she’s a successful businesswoman.’”

That would be a big deal for Vonn, who has previously referred to being “self-conscious about my level of education,” having never been to college. Her family moved from Minnesota to Vail, Colorado, when she was 12 to advance her skiing career, and she took online courses to complete her high school education.

Vonn would do well to take some advice from American teammate Ted Ligety, who is also 34 and who founded his ski accessories company , Shred, in 2006.

“It’s a whole other world,” Ligety told The Associated Press. “It’s never easy … You can’t do it yourself. You got to have some help along the way and have some people that know better and that can help you carry out a vision as well.”

Vonn also is looking to get into the world of movies, both in front of the camera and behind it as an executive producer.

She has already been an extra on one of her favorite shows, “Law & Order,” and launched in December her own YouTube channel , LVTV, where she provides weekly lifestyle content on things like health, fitness and cooking.

It’s therefore no surprise that being a mother is not immediately on her agenda, but she definitely plans to have kids somewhere down the line. If her boyfriend, Nashville Predators defenseman P.K. Subban, wasn’t already aware of that, he is now.

In her news conference Tuesday after the super-G race at the worlds, Vonn set up her cell phone on the table in front of her to ensure Subban could listen in live.

“Wait, I’ve got to make sure my boyfriend is here for this,” Vonn said, repositioning her phone. “Yes, of course, I’d love to have children.

“I’m 34, so I can’t wait too long,” she added before looking straight down the phone. “You know what I’m saying.”

She said one of the reasons she is calling an end to her sports career now is so she doesn’t damage her body even more, to the extent that she wouldn’t be able to go skiing with her own children.

She’ll be making a clean break from the sport, too, after the downhill on Sunday. Not even coaching.

“I want to be still here, racing,” Vonn said, “I accept that I can’t, but I still want to be here. If I was going to be involved in skiing at least for the next few years, I think that would just make me even more sad. I need a break. Maybe after time, when I’m older, maybe then I can make my way back.”

Throw in her foundation and her slew of well-known sponsors that she plans to continue representing and Vonn won’t have a problem keeping herself occupied.

Top of the to-do list when she returns to the United States next week will be to have a seventh, and hopefully final, operation on her knee after tearing her lateral collateral ligament in November. During rehab, Vonn will have time to figure out exactly how to attack the next stage in her life.

“My head is still good,” she said. “That’s all I need at this point.”

 

Ironman Kona World Championships return for first time in three years, live on Peacock

Ironman Kona World Championship
Ironman
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The Ironman Kona World Championships return after a three-year hiatus with a new format, live on Peacock on Thursday and Saturday at 12 p.m. ET.

The Ironman, held annually in Hawaii since 1978, and in Kailua-Kona since 1981, was not held in 2020 or 2021 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The world championships made a one-time-only stop in St. George, Utah, on May 7 to make up for the 2021 cancellation. The winners were Norway’s Kristian Blummenfelt, the Tokyo Olympic triathlon champion, and Swiss Daniela Ryf, who bagged her fifth Ironman world title.

Both are entered in Kailua-Kona, where the races are now split between two days — Thursday for the women and Saturday for the men.

An Ironman includes a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike and a marathon — totaling 140.6 miles of racing. It takes top triathletes eight hours to complete. Very arguably, it crowns the world’s fittest man and woman.

WATCH LIVE: Ironman Kona, Thursday, 12 p.m. ET — STREAM LINK

Ryf, 35 and a 2008 and 2012 Olympian, can tie retired countrywoman Natascha Badmann for second place on the women’s list at six Ironman world titles. Only Zimbabwean-turned-American Paula Newby-Fraser has more with eight.

The field also includes German Anne Haug, the 2019 Kona champ and only woman other than Ryf to win since 2015. Brit Lucy Charles-Barclay, the Kona runner-up in 2017, 2018 and 2019, returns after missing the St. George event due to a stress fracture in her hip.

Blummenfelt, 28 and in his Kona debut, will try to become the youngest male champion in Kona since German Normann Stadler in 2005. His top challengers include countryman Gustav Iden, the two-time reigning Half Ironman world champion, and German Patrick Lange, the 2017 and 2018 Ironman Kona winner.

Also racing Saturday is Dallas Clark, a retired All-Pro NFL tight end with the Indianapolis Colts, and Tony Kanaan, the 2013 Indy 500 champion who completed the 2011 Kona Ironman in 12 hours, 52 minutes, 40 seconds.

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Joan Benoit Samuelson, Olympic marathon champ in 1984, runs London Marathon at 65

Joan Benoit Samuelson
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Joan Benoit Samuelson, the first Olympic women’s marathon champion in 1984, ran her first 26.2-mile race in three years at Sunday’s London Marathon and won her age group.

Benoit Samuelson, 65, clocked 3 hours, 20 minutes, 20 seconds to top the women’s 65-69 age group by 7 minutes, 52 seconds. She took pleasure in being joined in the race by daughter Abby, who crossed in 2:58:19.

“She may have beaten me with my replacement knee, but everybody said I wouldn’t do it! I will never say never,” Benoit Samuelson said, according to race organizers. “I am a grandmother now to Charlotte, and it’s my goal to run 5K with her.”

LONDON MARATHON: Results

Benoit Samuelson raced the 1987 Boston Marathon while three months pregnant with Abby. Before that, she won the first Olympic women’s marathon at the 1984 Los Angeles Games, plus the Boston Marathon in 1979 and 1983 and the Chicago Marathon in 1985.

Her personal best — 2:21:21 — still holds up. She ranks sixth in U.S. women’s history.

Benoit Samuelson plans to race the Tokyo Marathon to complete her set of doing all six annual World Marathon Majors. The others are Berlin, Boston, Chicago and New York City.

“I’m happy to finish this race and make it to Tokyo, but I did it today on a wing and a prayer,” she said, according to organizers. “I’m blessed to have longevity in this sport. It doesn’t owe me anything, but I feel I owe my sport.”

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