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Lindsey Vonn promises PyeongChang medal in memory of late grandfather

US skier Lindsay Vonn has vowed to win a medal in PyeongChang in honor of her late grandfather. (Photo: Getty Images)
by Sonja Nikcevic, AIPS Media

PYEONGCHANG, February 9, 2018 - Lindsay Vonn is competing in her final Olympics at PyeongChang 2018, and the American has made a promise to win one more gold in memory of her late grandfather and the person she calls her ski racing inspiration.

Vonn was raced off to the Opening Ceremony at PyeongChang’s Olympic Stadium straight off her flight from Colorado, but stopped by Italy’s Olympic House, Casa Italia – a favorite among Italian athletes and guests, afterwards to bulk up on pasta.

“I love Italian food, and I always do well in my races in Italy, so there must be something there,” Vonn said.

The American carries the title of the most successful female ski racer of all time with 80 World Cup victories, but does not have the Olympic record to match her own high standards. After winning downhill gold and a Super G bronze in Vancouver, Vonn missed out on Sochi because of a knee injury, and spent much of last season struggling to recover from a broken arm and nerve damage in her hand.

This season though she has won four World Cup races, including back-to-back downhills just ahead of PyeongChang. Rightly so, the American insists she is fully recovered and has a strong incentive to end her Olympic career on a Korean high.

“My grandfather passed away in November and I am competing for him. I really hope I can win a medal for him to honor his memory. He served in the Korean War.”

Vonn had previously revealed to CNN that if it wasn’t for her grandfather she may never have taken up skiing, and teared up in her first press conference of the Games on Friday morning as she revealed her motivation to win.

Lindsay Vonn in first place ahead of Sofia Goggia (L) at the Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cup Women's Downhill on February 4, 2018 in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, ina Weirather of Liechtenstein (R) came in 3rd. (Photo: Getty Images)

One of her greatest rivals this season though is Sofia Goggia, who calls Casa Italia home. The 21-year-old Italian and Vonn, 33 are the only racers with more than one downhill victory this season, and have edged each other out in those victories by mere hundredths of a second.

“Sofia will have to try to beat me, but she has many more Olympics after this and this is my last one so maybe she can be okay with being second,” Vonn said with a smile.

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