Sofia Goggia is going into her first Winter Olympics with the aim of stealing the show from American superstar Lindsey Vonn. She won a gold in the downhill and a bronze in the super-G at Vancouver in 2010.
"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 U.S. army during the Korean War. "Hopefully, I'll just be thinking about the task at hand". It's really hard for me not to cry. "The career she's had, the focus and energy that she puts into this sport", said the younger Shiffrin, who studies video of Vonn's downhill runs. "Downhill in the olympics is any given day", the 35-year-old said. "We're going to be on the podium a lot more together in the future, which is great". Three world championships in the slalom, medals that hang in her room back home in Colorado because, she said, "I had dead space on my wall and I wanted to fill it with something, and they look pretty".
Vonn has had her share of injuries in her career, including the knee operation that kept her out of Sochi but she says she is in good shape now - even if she has to incorporate maintenance work into her regular training. "It's what I think about the first thing when I wake up and it's what I think about when I go to sleep". And I still have an enormous respect for her. "I'm feeling much better, much more like myself".
"I don't know which of you are sick; I'm just being safe", she told the media, noting that she also wore them on the plane over.
The speed specialist, who will not compete in Giant Slalom, wants to ensure that she takes full advantage of her fourth Games. And here was Vonn, in her grandparents' small-town church, grasping for the one emotion Grandpa Don helped instill: strength.
"I've had a lot of ups and downs since Vancouver but I feel like I am coming into these Olympics on a hot streak, I am skiing exceptionally well and I have a lot of confidence".
Vonn said she was questioning whether she was going to bring Lucy with her to PyeongChang because it's a long trip, "but she's always with me so I figured I need her for the most important event".
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"In 2010, I was a much healthier athlete", Vonn said.
Italian Christof Innerhofer topped Friday's second men's downhill training as Olympic racers battled tough conditions in alpine skiing's blue riband event. I don't want to have to say the greatest female skier. "I miss him so much".
"As long as my knee is holding up and I am still able to win, then I will keep skiing", she said.
On this night, Vonn's sister Laura and brother Reed race to see who can dice tomatoes faster.
"It's so ingrained. They always compare Mikaela to Lindsey Vonn".
"You're insane", a flabbergasted Shiffrin said when asked about the comparison.
In the meantime, she has medals to win. "And I do. I've done it before and I know I can do it again".