Mikaela Shiffrin Replaces Lindsey Vonn as American Face of Winter Olympics

After waiting eight years - "a very long time", she called it - to return to a Winter Games for the fourth - and, she left no doubt, final - time, Vonn is making sure to cover her hands to try to avoid picking up any germs.

"It took me until my third Olympics how to figure out how to deal with the pressure", said Vonn who made her Olympic debut as a 17-year-old, racing in the combined event, at Salt Lake in 2002. She won a gold in the downhill and a bronze in the super-G at Vancouver in 2010. Her grandfather Don Kildow passed away at the age of 88 in November.

"I wish you hadn't said it because it's really hard for me not to cry".

"I think next year I can get beyond that", she said of Stenmark's record.

"But I'm still here, because I want to live for the future, not the past". "And I really hoped he'd be alive to see me but I know he's watching and I know that he's going to help me. And". I miss him so much, he's been such a big part of my life.

"You taught me to be tough, to be kind, and above all, to ski fast", Vonn said in an Instagram post shortly after his death, one of many social media postings hailing the influence of her grandfather, who was ironically stationed not far from the Jeongseon Alpine Centre when he served with the United States army during the Korean War. The Olympics-bound athlete is the most accomplished female ski racer in history, with 78 World Cup wins under her belt. Being in a hotel room is often times is just extremely hard.

Until Vonn gets her Darcy it's just her and Lucy, the latest edition to her growing coterie of rescue dogs.

She said the the pressure is even greater now because this is her last Games and "because I want to end on a high note".

"If it's more windy than today, the gondola is not going to run so then we have a major problem for everybody and it's not going to happen". I got her two and a half years ago.

"In Lenzerheide I was emotional and crying and frustrated and not really myself so that was a sign to me that I was just a little bit too exhausted", she said of her final giant slalom World Cup race before the Games, where she finished seventh. "I know he's looking out for me", she said, "and that actually gives me a lot of peace of mind". As he raised his family on a farm in rural Milton, Wisconsin, he built a tiny ski hill with a tow rope. "She enjoys sleeping a majority of the day".

"In 2010, I was a much healthier athlete, but in 2018, I'm a much stronger athlete, not just physically but mostly mentally. 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". Linsdey Vonn has been an Olympian since she was a teenager.

  • Joey Payne