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Lindsey Vonn Talks 2021 Olympics, Home Workouts and Charities in B/R Exclusive

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistMay 27, 2020

United States' Lindsey Vonn poses with her career's medals in the finish area after the women's downhill race, at the alpine ski World Championships in Are, Sweden, Sunday, Feb. 10, 2019. (AP Photo/Marco Trovati)
Marco Trovati/Associated Press

Find yourself using bottles of bleach, chairs for step-ups and other things lying around the house to complete workouts with gyms closed and at-home equipment selling out with so many people remaining indoors? 

You may not be that different from legendary skier and fitness icon Lindsey Vonn.

"I always look for inspiration because it can be anywhere," Vonn told Bleacher Report when offering advice for at-home workouts. "For one of my workouts ... I had a jug of bleach to get some extra weight because I had no dumbbells. I did one circuit workout with two Costco-sized bottles of olive oil. Just try to be creative, anything in your house can be used to work out with. As long as you're open-minded and you have an imagination you can really make your home a gym no matter where you live."

Vonn isn't just working out for herself. She's offering help for those looking for ways to stay active while at home during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The three-time Olympic medalist teamed up with Under Armour and its MyFitnessPal to create the Get Strong with Lindsey Vonn program that gives fans an inside look at her tailored workouts even without access to traditional gym equipment.

"It's important that we all work together to lift each other up," Vonn said. "I think fitness is one of the most important things for staying positive during this time. ... I just want to promote fitness as much as I can."

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Vonn stressed the most important thing for any routine is changing things up because "if you do the same thing over and over again, everyone is going to get bored with that no matter who you are."

Part of that is a variety of healthy foods, which is also part of the Get Strong with Lindsey Vonn program. In addition to her workouts, Vonn shared a number of her favorite recipes that are straightforward and easy to make at home, such as banana bread oatmeal, bread-free Italian sandwiches and lean and clean burgers with fries.

It is a taste of some of the food that helped her become the most decorated female alpine skier of all-time with 82 World Cup victories, a downhill gold from the 2010 Games in Vancouver, a Super G bronze in Vancouver and a downhill bronze at the 2018 Games in Pyeongchang.

While she battled through a number of injuries throughout her career, including a torn ACL, fractured humerus bone in her right arm, fractured ankle and knee fracture, she never faced what this year's Olympians have amid a worldwide pandemic.

In March, the International Olympic Committee, International Paralympic Committee, Tokyo 2020 Organising Committee and Tokyo Metropolitan Government announced the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo were postponed until July 23-Aug. 8, 2021, putting training regiments, medal dreams and career plans on hold.

"I can't imagine being in that position," Vonn said. "The Olympics are so much about peaking at the right time and the lead-up and your confidence and your training. There's so much that goes into it. To have it postponed so close to the Games, I don't know how the athletes are coping."

She acknowledged it could help some who are injured or in need of a break but especially felt for those near the end of their careers who are now facing so much uncertainty because "one extra year is a lot physically."

"If it was me I would try to optimize the situation as much as possible," she continued. "You'd have to restructure your plan for the entire year."

There has been plenty of restructuring around the country and world the past few months, and Vonn has done what she can to help outside of the athletic arena. 

In addition to partnering with programs such as Beyond Meat and Meals on Wheels to donate food to those in need with fiance and New Jersey Devils defenseman P.K. Subban, who has a long philanthropic history that includes donating $10 million to the Montreal Children's Hospital, Vonn has provided scholarships and programs for future generations through the Lindsey Vonn Foundation.

"We've tried to do as much as we can to help as many people as we can during this time," she said while pointing to her career day initiatives she and her foundation have done on her YouTube page.

Vonn's career day efforts have virtually brought together Lindsey Vonn Foundation scholarship winners with experts in the fields they hope to pursue "so they can actually pick their brains to keep them in a positive state of mind so they can focus on the future and have something to look forward to," she said.

Vonn's passion for philanthropy extends to her partnership with Under Armour as well.

She is a Global Ambassador for Project Rock and wears some of the Dwayne Johnson-inspired and gym-focused apparel in her Get Strong with Lindsey Vonn workout videos. The collection launched on May 21 and supports the non-profit organization Team Rubicon, which mobilizes veterans to help people prepare for and recover from humanitarian crises and disasters.

"Project Rock is something that's really important to me because it's not just a brand it's really a lifestyle," Vonn said. "The Rock's mantra is something that I live by as well. I'm proud to be a part of it."

lindsey vonn @lindseyvonn

Training is my fuel. It’s the fuel that propels us #ThroughTheWork and pushes us to take the first step, and complete that first rep.  Let’s do it together!  The new projectrock collection supports @TeamRubicon - an… https://t.co/TSai0bNk1l

In addition to providing veterans with a way to help those in need, the Project Rock collection helps Vonn accomplish her fitness goals, which she said is more important than ever in the current times.

"I think fitness is going to be so important moving forward," she said. "I hope that this pandemic makes people really look at their fitness in a different way because it is survival. If you're unhealthy you're more at risk, so I think it's going to be so important for everyone to try to take care of themselves. I'm happy to encourage that and inspire and help people lead a stronger and better life."

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