That made it tougher to concentrate fully, tougher to be at her best and tougher to be what she had proven to be for quite some time, which is the best female Alpine skier in the world - and with the trophies to prove it. But her journey to Pyeongchang for the 2018 Winter Olympics has been a long road littered with horrific injuries and setbacks. Adversity really makes you appreciate everything that you have-and I'm truly lucky to be able to ski and to do what I love every single day. With all Vonn's travails - she figures, given all her injuries, she has spent three complete years in rehab - it was easy to downplay her potential impact here. "I figured for the press conference, a mask probably wasn't appropriate", she said with a laugh. I was just so down.
"I just try to keep telling myself that when I feel like people are talking about me, and I just want them to stop", Shiffrin said. "I rarely think about it unless someone brings it up".
"I think part of the fun about walking around in ski boots is making it look as awkward as possible", Shiffrin said. Vonn plans to compete for another World Cup season with two aims in mind: She wants to get permission for a barrier-breaking race against men, and plans to eclipse Ingemar Stenmark's mark of 86 career victories.
"She's shouldering an enormous amount of pressure right now, regardless of whether she is racing or not - she's that good", he added. Gold medals are worth $37,500, silver medals are worth $22,500 and bronze medals are worth $15,000.
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"And now I go into Korea with a couple of wins under my belt and I'm just really looking forward to skiing the same way. full charge!"
Vonn's first event will be in the super-G on February 17. Four years later, she crashed in a downhill training in Torino and was hospitalized overnight, but came back to finish eighth in the race. When asked about the gold medal, her canned answer became, "it's heavy".
Vonn couldn't be entering the Pyeongchang Games in a better spot.
The women's alpine events begin Sunday with the giant slalom, an event in which Vonn's younger teammate, Mikaela Shiffrin, is among the medal favorites.
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I believe that everything happens for a reason, and I know I'm going to make it to these Olympics and that everything's going to turn out the way it's supposed to.
KRANJSKA GORA, SLOVENIA - JANUARY 06: Mikaela Shiffrin of United States of America in action during the Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cup Women's Giant Slalom on January 6, 2018 in Kranjska Gora, Slovenia.
Her Olympic history is covered in more crashes than glory.
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