Lindsey Vonn is the most recognizable female skier in this country. She is an Olympic gold medalist and one of the most dominant athletes in her sport, but all of that success on the slopes is about to come crashing down because of problems in her personal life.
According to a report from the Associated Press, Vonn and her husband, Thomas, have started divorce proceedings after four years of marriage.
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Now, this would normally be no big deal because we see marriages crumble all the time and more often than not athletes are able to compartmentalize things that no one else can to focus on their craft.
However, Thomas played an integral part in Lindsey's success on and off the slopes. He did everything he could to help keep her mind on her craft and made sure she had nothing to worry about when she prepared to race.
From the AP report:
Her shining moment in Vancouver was years in the making, beginning when her father, Alan Kildow, introduced her to skiing. He even moved the family to Colorado to foster that passion for the slopes.
But she had a falling out with her dad a few years ago. By all accounts, the feud began before the 2006 Turin Olympics, when she was known as Lindsey Kildow.
Part of the escalating tension had to do with her relationship with Thomas Vonn, a former U.S. Olympic skier who is nearly nine years older.
Over the years, Thomas Vonn became a rock in her life as he helped coordinate interviews, provided tips on the course and made sure all the logistics were taken care, freeing Lindsey Vonn to focus on skiing.
Losing that kind of stabilizing force can have a devastating effect on anyone's career, much less an athlete who must maintain concentration throughout a run or risk serious physical injury.
It's impossible to root against Vonn because she makes casual fans tune into a sport they would otherwise have no interest in. However, if her husband did as much for her career as the report makes it sound, all of her hard work and dedication are going to come crashing down on her.
It is sad to say, but the end of Vonn's marriage also signals the end of her career as a dominant skier.