LINDSEY VONN TELLS US WHY UTAH HAS HER HEART
Utah holds a special place in the heart of legendary ski racer Lindsey Vonn. At age 17, she made her Olympic debut here at the 2002 Salt Lake City Games, competing in two events including the slalom at Deer Valley, and notching a top-10 finish in the combined. Twenty years later, at age 38, Vonn is having a full-circle moment as she helps spearhead the efforts to bring the Winter Olympics back to Salt Lake City in 2030 or possibly 2034.
In June 2022, she was appointed chair of the athlete experience for the SLC-Utah bid committee, where she’ll draw on her expertise as a four-time Olympian and global leader in her sport, as well as her invaluable insight as a part-time Park City resident.
But joining Utah’s Olympic bid is just one important endeavor on an ambitious priority list for Vonn. As she tells us, “I want to be known more for what I did off the slopes than on them.” Vonn hopes to shape her legacy around “philanthropy, helping others and breaking boundaries.”
Through her eponymous foundation, Vonn is able to personalize her philanthropic passion. The organization provides scholarships and programming for education, sports and enrichment programs for community youth. She explains, “We have supported young girls in the community before I had a house here, and we even supported a girl and helped her make it to the Beijing Olympics for snowboarding. I am looking forward to doing more with the local girls.”
In addition to her altruistic accomplishments, Vonn’s foray into business has been a thoughtful and steady progression. It began with an Ivy League turn in 2018 at Harvard Business School’s Business of Entertainment, Media and Sports program. Since then, Vonn has invested in companies that she’s personally connected with, including Hyperice, Beyond Meat, Ladder, YNIQ, Oura Ring and the NWSL’s Angel City Football Club, which also boasts high-profile investors Serena Williams, Billie Jean King and Natalie Portman. Vonn has also developed multiple fashion brands including the Legacy Line collection for HEAD Sportswear and the Lindsey Vonn Edition luxury sunglass collection for YNIQ, as well as her continuing work as ambassador for longtime partners such as Under Armour’s “Project Rock” collection with Dwayne Johnson, LandRover/Jaguar, Rolex and Redbull.
More recently, Vonn has embarked on several new adventures, taking to the broadcast booth as an expert analyst for NBC Sports during the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics, co-directing her first feature-length documentary on fellow skiing great Picabo Street through her production company Après Productions, hosting the 2022 Laureus World Sports Awards Show, and induction into the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Hall of Fame.
Arguably, her most impressive achievement occurred in 2022, when Vonn turned the spotlight on herself with the release of her memoir. In Rise: My Story, the Olympic gold medalist pulls back the curtain on her record-setting ski career and the bold decisions she made along the way. But she also doesn’t shy away from the more vulnerable experiences that have shaped her journey, including devastating injuries and disappointments, her struggle with depression and insomnia, and a commitment to mental wellness.
Despite her many accomplishments, Vonn admits that her future path is not altogether clear-cut. “Honestly, I’m never entirely sure what will happen next, that’s the exciting thing about life,” she adds. “But right now, I’m focused mainly on business, from my goggle and sunglass company YNIQ, to designing my ski line with HEAD, and being a limited partner in venture capital funds. I like to stay busy and find new challenges.”
Of course, even Lindsey Vonn likes to relax every once in a while. It’s in those moments when Vonn needs to reset and recharge that she turns to Park City, where she says her 24-acre ranch on the outskirts of town is the perfect place for respite from the Mach-10 pace that her life often requires.
“Park City is the perfect mountain town because it has great skiing but also great people that live here year-round,” notes Vonn. “While I am often on the road or at my main residence in Florida, I love getting away to peace and quiet in Park City.”
Vonn describes the perfect day off in Park City as one that lets her stop in for a drink or a bite at one of her local favorites, hit the trails on her mountain bike and enjoy time at home on the porch with her three dogs, Lucy, Leo and Jade, sipping hot cocoa and taking in the vistas. “Park City is a pretty big town but still has the small-town charm and every outdoor adventure you can think of,” she concludes.
Lindsey Vonn’s Park City Picks:
Favorite local ski run: Stein’s Way at Deer Valley Resort.
Favorite après ski bar or pub: The St. Regis. I can stop in for lunch and get a drink, and they also have a tent in the winter for a bigger after-ski experience.
Favorite place to be pampered: Honestly, I’m still doing sports massages so it’s not exactly getting pampered (LOL).
Favorite restaurant: The Goldener Hirsch. I go there every day for brunch or lunch and have their amazing tomato soup and grilled cheese. It’s very high-end, but they also have the classics that I love.