ARE, Sweden (Reuters) - With just one race left in her career, American Lindsey Vonn is aiming to swap Alpine skiing for success in the boardroom when she retires from the sport after Sunday’s downhill competition at the World Championships in Sweden.
Vonn sustained a black eye when crashing out of Tuesday’s Super G early, but she said she is looking forward to one last race and one big party to bring to an end almost two decades in the sport.
After battling knee injuries throughout her career, the 34-year-old announced last week that she was calling it a day. Vonn has racked up 82 World Cup victories in a glittering career and won the United State’s first Olympic downhill gold for women.
“There’s a lot to look forward to. I’m going to approach business in the same way I approach skiing, just work as hard as I can and stay diligent about it,” an upbeat Vonn told reporters on Tuesday.
She will continue her relationships with her sponsors and is branching out into movies as an executive producer, and she also hinted at a new secret project that is in the works.
“I hope that one day they’ll say, ‘Oh, she was a skier a long time ago, but now she’s a successful businesswoman’. Next goal, take over the world, one step at a time,” she said.
Though Vonn admitted that she had had a turbulent time of it emotionally since realizing recently that the end of her career was in sight, she chided reporters for not laughing enough at her jokes as she tried to keep the mood light while outlining her future.
“I’m a driven person, I’m not going to be sitting on the couch twiddling my thumbs, that would be boring. I need to do something that activates my mind. I can’t activate my body the way I used to, but it’s all about pushing yourself,” she said.
Vonn won’t be letting her lack of business experience hold her back, either.
“I went to Harvard for four days, so I feel like I know something!” she said with a broad grin.
The three-time Olympic medalist revealed that she also planned to start a family with her partner, professional ice hockey player P.K. Subban, and asked how she would like to be remembered, Vonn paused before answering.
“I would like to be remembered as someone who was more than a ski racer. Hopefully, to my team mates as a good leader, and to the rest of the girls, the next generation, that I showed them that nothing is impossible,” she said.
“Just realize that anything is possible if you work hard enough.”
Reporting by Philip O'Connor; Additional reporting by Martyn Herman; Editing by Ed Osmond and Hugh Lawson