She was married and divorced. Then she struck gold in Vancouver.
Then, moments later, she spoke about skiing in his memory.
Vonn was not able to compete in the Sochi Olympics because of a knee injury and has trained to recover from a broken arm that caused nerve damage in her hand.
A tearful Lindsey Vonn vowed Friday (Feb 9) to "lay it all out" at her fourth Olympics to honour her late grandfather, the inspiration behind her stellar ski career.
The flatter gradient and softer snow of the Jeongseon Alpine Centre's course will benefit aerodynamic skiers that are good gliders on fast skis, attributes that can not be developed quickly. Not to mention, while she could have any man in the world she picked Tiger Woods, creating the flawless relationship for endless media coverage. She is friends with fashion designers.
But she was rocked in her home life with the death in November of her grandfather, Don Kildow, aged 88, and was reduced to tears when the subject was raised in her press conference.
"My grandfather taught my father how to ski". "I'm not sure if I'm actually going to have the energy to do that". She won a gold in the downhill and a bronze in the super-G at Vancouver in 2010.
Vonn tweeted to her almost 1 million followers on Wednesday, writing that her Lufthansa plane sat on the runway for nearly two hours without taking off, and that it seemed like incorrect travel documents were to blame.
But the Olympics are nothing if not a vehicle for stories of personal struggle and heartache. "I miss him so much".
"I think the mistakes will come from pushing too hard, because when it becomes difficult to win, guys try to take too much risk to try to gain that little bit extra", added the 40-year-old Miller, working as a broadcaster during the Games.
"I'm not going to be nervous, I know he's looking out for me and that gives me some peace of mind".
Those sentences read smoothly, and the sentiments are real.
Vonn says without her grandfather's influence she may never have taken up the sport.
This is the 22-year-old's second olympics, but she started skiing young. One: Swedish icon Ingemar Stenmark. She is considered likely to enter all five individual women's races, but for now is only committing to the two that are her best, the slalom and giant slalom.
The U.S. Alpine skiing star is not accustomed to erring on the side of caution while racing, which is why she owns a pair of Olympic medals and four overall World Cup titles.
Even donned the gloves for her flight to South Korea.
Her Olympic history is covered in more crashes than glory. It is the way a downhiller must think, the way a downhiller must live.
"I've always been in awe of the Olympics, especially 2002", she said. "I miss him so much". I have overcome a lot.
Vonn said: "I ask them advice a lot". For the ski hill. She enjoys sleeping the majority of the day. "It's really hard for me not to cry". Vonn has won 81 World Cup races. Beyond that, her knees will tell her when to quit. Most of the time.
In Pyeongchang, though, retirement is not an issue or an option.
Vonn said her increased mental strength really comes into play when she's in the starting gate.
"In 2010, I was a much healthier athlete, but in 2018, I'm a much stronger athlete, not just physically but mostly mentally".
Lindsey Vonn has had her run, but it's time for Mikaela Shiffrin now. "I was questioning whether I was going to bring her here because it was a long trip, but she's always with me so I figured I need her for the most important event".