Though the 28-year-old star celebrated her first Olympic gold medal this year, she was secretly struggling with personal turmoil as she went through a devastating divorce to her husband Thomas Vonn.
The former couple filed for divorce in November 2011 after being married for four years. After announcing their split, Vonn revealed to reporters her intentions to continue using her ex’s surname.
She wrote in a statement published soon after the divorce papers had been filled: “It is with great sadness that I announce that Thomas and I have begun divorce proceedings.”
“This is an extremely difficult time in my personal life, and I hope the media and my fans can respect my need for privacy on this matter. I will continue to be coached by the U.S. Ski Team and look forward to competing the rest of the season.”
The 28-year-old was hiding her failing marriage and debilitating depression from the world, reports The Daily Mail.
She told reporters: “Everyone saw me on TV, or read articles, and it was all about my great marriage, the white picket fence, all this success and my perfect life. But behind the scenes, it was a struggle.”
She went on, adding: “Everyone knows marriage is tough,’ she said. ‘But it just wasn’t working, and it was making me miserable.”
“Nothing bad happened,’ Ms Vonn insisted. ‘But there was just unhappiness. That’s the only way I can even describe it – unhappy.”
Thomas, a former Olympic skier as well, was as her main advisor since she has undergone a leg injury to win gold in the downhill and bronze in the super-G at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics.
She was firstly noticed in Vancouver after her father, Alan Kildow, introduced her to skiing. The family even moved to Colorado to foster that passion for the slopes.
But she fell out with her dad a few years ago. Obviously, the feud began in 2006 before Turin Olympics, when she was known as Lindsey Kildow.
A bit later she started to date Thomas Vonn, a former Olympic skier who is nearly nine years older.
As the years rolled by, Thomas became her right-hand helping to coordinate interviews, providing tips on the course and making sure all the logistics were taken care, freeing Lindsey Vonn to focus on skiing.
By the way, Vonn has been previously linked to Denver Broncos quarterback Tim Tebow, but she denied the rumors, saying: “Hearing a lot of crazy rumors but rest assured I am NOT dating Tim Tebow (or anyone else. I’m just friends with his family. xo, LV”
During the divorce the star tried to re-connect with her father, who had strongly disapproved of the couple’s nine-year age gap.
She said: “It was hard, really hard, but we talked it through. I really missed him.”
Now, looking ahead to the upcoming 2014 Olympics, Vonn intends to break new records.
“It’s a new chapter in my life,” she said. “And I’m happy for the first time in a really long time.”
She has become a part of one of U.S. team history as one of the top racers, winning three overall World Cup titles. She also has 42 World Cup wins, together with Anja Paerson she has fourth place on the all-time list.