Lindsey Vonn overcomes grief to reach Olympics

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The most successful woman skier in World Cup history, American Lindsey Vonn says she wants to end her Olympic career on a high when she gets her fourth Games underway next week.

"I'm coming in on a hot streak", the 33-year-old said. She was going to bring him to Pyeongchang to watch her compete, but he died November 1 at the age of 88.

Vonn also looked past the 2018 Pyeongchang Games, vowing to continue to race on the World Cup until she breaks the record of 86 World Cup wins held by Ingemar Stenmark.

"On any World Cup it's hard to predict the victor... but here there's one downhill every fourth year and then it really gets a lot of focus and if there's a prize you remember it longer".

"She's a definitely a bigger star than me", said Vonn, unabashedly making goo-goo eyes at Lucy, as her faithful companion sat at the foot of stage, where the greatest downhill racer in USA history took measure of all the big victories and painful injuries in her career.

Vonn confirmed she felt "really good", but added: "It's not really about me or my career, it's about my grandfather". I miss him so much. And I know that he's going to help me.

"And I know it's a comparison between sports and I don't think there's a sport in the Winter Olympics where you can win 23 medals across three or four Olympics". Vonn has won 81 World Cup races.

"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".

"She's usually in the hotel room whenever I'm racing", Vonn said.

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Even donned the gloves for her flight to South Korea.

"I feel much, much better now and I'm excited". "She enjoys sleeping a majority of the day".

"And I would say she's the best there's been even compared to Stenmark, because Stenmark wasn't able to compete in all the different events".

Innerhofer, who has form on the mountain having finished second in the super-G in the test World Cup event two years ago, has struggled to bother the podium on a regular basis since his Sochi showing but insisted he still had something to offer. "I know he's looking out for me", she said, "and that actually gives me a lot of peace of mind".

Austria's defending Olympic champion Matthias Mayer said the course was "much easier" than the icy challenge that was the downhill in Sochi.

"In 2010, I was a much healthier athlete", Vonn said.

"I definitely am going to ski another season", she said. As he raised his family on a farm in rural Milton, Wisconsin, he built a tiny ski hill with a tow rope.

"I obviously have been waiting a very long time for these Olympics", Vonn said. She has skied through personal strife and physical disaster.

Vonn said her increased mental strength really comes into play when she's in the starting gate.