Lindsey Vonn Is Retired — and Busier Than Ever

She may be watching the Olympics like the rest of us, but with a new book and several businesses on the horizon, the legendary skier hasn't slowed down.

Lindsey Vonn
Photo: Getty Images

As the most decorated American skier of all time, Lindsey Vonn knows a thing or two about pushing limits. Since hitting the slopes in her World Cup debut in 2000, Vonn, now 37, has continued to pave the way for female athletes. And she racked up an impressive 82 World Cup wins, three Olympic medals, and 8 World Championship medals along the way.

Although she faced her share of obstacles — namely, skiing with injuries ranging from a broken humerus to a sliced tendon — Vonn persevered. She dominated her sport right up until her retirement in 2019, and she's proud of her willpower against all odds. "I always say, 'Don't tell me I can't do something, because I will find a way to do it no matter how much pain I'm in,'" Vonn told InStyle for our February Badass Women issue.

With her athletic career now behind her, Vonn has switched professional gears. She's adopted a business mindset, and these days, she spends her time investing in and advising venture capital firms. She's also taken up writing, and in her recent memoir, Rise: My Story, out in January, Vonn opens up about the physical challenges she's overcome in addition to her decades-long struggles with mental health and self-confidence. Her goal? To inspire others with her own life lessons.

Our full chat with the ski legend turned entrepreneur, below.

How would you describe someone who is badass?

Someone who is fearless and stands up for what they believe in. They are authentic and unrelenting, but that doesn't mean they aren't kind. People can be badass for many different reasons, but you know one when you see one.

Lindsey Vonn
Getty Images

What is your most badass quality?

I would say my drive and determination. I'm someone who, if you tell me I can't do something, I'll work as hard as I can for as long as it takes to prove you wrong. I am unrelenting.

What's the biggest obstacle you've overcome?

In my skiing career, I think the many injuries that I endured — and skied through — were the biggest obstacles I faced. I've skied with a broken leg, torn ligaments, and sliced tendons. I duct-taped my hand to my pole so I could race several times, due to a sliced tendon in my thumb, a broken wrist, and also because of nerve damage from a broken humerus — a spiral fracture [that required] a plate and 15 screws. None of these are recommended [laughs]. I think that understanding my value as a person outside of skiing was my biggest obstacle after my professional career, though.

Why did you decide to publish your memoir, Rise: My Story, now?

After my career, I had some time to reflect on my life. It was a difficult transition from professional skiing into a "normal" life, but writing this book was very therapeutic. There were a lot of life lessons that I learned on my very turbulent journey, and I wanted to share that in the hopes of helping or inspiring others. It's not just for skiers or athletes; it's for anyone who has faced adversity.

Lindsey Vonn

What are you most ambitious for in your post-skiing career?

Well, I certainly have a lot of ambitions in this next chapter of my life. I'm now a businesswoman, and I want to be known for that instead of my skiing career. I'm currently an advisor to several VC funds like Helium-3 and Broadlight Capital, and I've invested in other companies that are doing quite well. I'm also part owner of [luxury goggle brand] YNIQ; I designed a ski clothing line with HEAD [the Legacy Collection]; and I'm working with Dwayne Johnson on [his apparel line] Project Rock for Under Armour. And I'm still working with my longtime sponsors like Rolex, Red Bull, and Land Rover. I'm in the process of building an active beauty brand, too. Needless to say, I have not slowed down, nor have my ambitions. I thrive on challenges — and I can't wait for what lies ahead.

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