Former Olympic skier-turned-entrepreneur and published author Lindsey Vonn is living life in the fast lane.
The most decorated female skier of all time, Lindsey Vonn has 82 World Cup victories, one Olympic gold medal and two bronzes as well as two World Cup medals, three silvers and three bronzes.
While she may be retired from professional skiing, Lindsey Vonn has not slowed down. In Rise: My Story (HarperCollins), the most decorated female skier of all time reveals never-before-told stories of her life including her struggle with depression and the decisions that helped her break down barriers on and off the slopes. All the while, she’s launching new projects left and right, including a retro-inspired ski collection with HEAD Sportswear and a new production company, Après Productions.
You’ve conquered so much in your career. Now you’ve written a memoir and launched a new collection with HEAD Sportswear. How do you balance it all?
As an athlete, I have always had to maintain a very busy schedule. Even though I’m not competing anymore, that aspect of my life hasn’t changed. Having opportunities to be creative with things like my new HEAD collection or my signature YNIQ goggles is incredible and the challenges motivate me. However, as much as I love to work, I also prioritize taking care of my mental and physical health in my everyday routines, and that definitely helps me stay balanced when my life feels like it’s going a mile a minute.
What inspired you to write Rise: My Life?
Retiring from skiing was not the easiest, but writing about my journey from the very beginning and reflecting on all the ups and downs from my life and my career was very therapeutic for me. I wanted to share my story with fans so that they can get a better sense of who I am, what I went through in my life and career, and hopefully help them in their own lives.
What was the most challenging part of writing the book, and how did you feel when it was finished?
It was difficult for me to talk about and, in a way, relive all the times I let other people or certain situations make me feel less than I should. In writing about them, I was able to acknowledge just how far I’ve come and how much I’ve grown. At the end of the day, all the negative experiences still taught me so much about myself and about life. When I finished my book, I felt such an appreciation for my journey in its entirety.
Lindsey Vonn launched the Legacy Collection with HEAD Sportswear.
What do you hope readers will take away from your memoir?
Through the course of my career and in my memoir, I have always tried to be honest about how my road to achieving my goals often took its toll on my mental and physical health. Everyone has their own unique set of challenges that they must face in life, and whatever those may be, it’s OK to not be OK sometimes, but it is very important to take care of yourself and ask for help when you need it. It’s so great that the media and athletes are talking about mental health more. I’m proud to be a small part in spreading awareness about mental health—especially in Europe where, I think, there is still a stigma.
You’ve won a bevy of style awards and you’re known for your fashion-forward approach. How did you infuse your personal style into your new collection with HEAD Sportswear?
In my collection, you’ll find a lot of bold colors and flattering fits. This new collection is inspired by the retro style of the ’70s made for modern times on the slopes. You’ll find fitted pants, slightly oversized shaped jackets and great knitwear. In addition, a priority of mine for the Legacy Collection was to create high-performance pieces that are stylish at the same time. I’m very proud of what I have designed with HEAD, and it was so much fun to be able to channel my creative side.
What’s your favorite piece in the collection, and is it true that your pup Lucy makes an appearance in one of your pieces?
My favorite piece is the Daisy vest and jacket. The pink floral print is such a statement piece on the slopes. As far as Lucy is concerned, the other reason the Daisy is my favorite is because there’s actually an image of her imprinted on the inside. Everyone loves Lucy!
Vonn recently published her memoir, Rise: My Life.
Tell us what you love about Aspen and why it’s a special place for you.
Aspen is where my grandparents used to ski when they originally traveled west for family vacations. My grandpa would side slip the hill in the morning and get half-price tickets, as they didn’t have grooming cats back then. We still have some of the best pictures of my grandparents on the lifts in Aspen. I also have very fond memories of racing in the Aspen World Cup. It was the only American stop on the tour, so my family and friends would come out and watch and we always had the best time.
What are some of your favorite hangouts in Aspen?
My favorite hangouts include Ajax Tavern at The Little Nell; it’s a classic. I love Poppycock’s Cafe for brunch. And Matsuhisa is great for a more modern dinner. I’m excited that Catch has now opened there as that’s one of my favorite spots in Los Angeles, so I’m sure it will become a favorite in Aspen as well.
Through the Lindsey Vonn Foundation, you work to empower and enrich the lives of girls and young women. Any inspiring words for the next generation of athletes?
I want the next generation to know that they have the power within themselves to achieve their dreams. Be proud of who you are and give it your all to whatever you’re passionate about. Life is too short to live with regrets!
You’ve achieved so much in a short time. What’s next on the horizon for you?
I love to keep busy, and there’s so many exciting things ahead! Aside from my book, my skiwear line with HEAD and my goggle company YNIQ, I have started a production company called Après Productions with my partner and longtime Minnesota friend Claire Brown. And we are working on some exciting projects coming up around the Olympics. I am also still working with Under Armour, Rolex and Land Rover on future projects. Outside of my traditional partnerships, I’m excited about building more of a presence in the fashion and business space, as well as learning more about tech and investing in companies I am passionate about like Hyperice, Oura, Beyond Meat and JUST eggs.
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
I want to wish all of the Olympians competing in the upcoming Winter Games in Beijing the best of luck! Cherish these moments because they’ll stay with you for life.
Photography by: PHOTOGRAPHED BY DAN CAMPBELL