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How Lindsey Vonn Empowers the Next Generation of Strong Women

By Brittany Risher May 5, 2017

Being one of the most successful female athletes isn't enough for Lindsey Vonn. She also strives to use every career experience—from her victories and red carpet appearances to her injuries and the criticisms she receives— to motivate young women.

“I understand the position that I’m in as a role model,” she says. “When I was growing up, Picabo Street was a big idol of mine. The two minutes that I met her inspired me to want to be an Olympian. So, if I can give that to any kid – that’s my goal. To inspire them to want to be who they want to be and follow their dreams.”

Vonn does this, in part, every time she puts on her skis. Both physically and mentally strong, she pushes herself to do the absolute best she can every time she competes. And no matter how well she performs, she always wants more.

“The number one attribute that Lindsey has is her drive,” say her physical therapist, Lindsay Winninger, PT, MPT, founder of Sports Rehab Consulting. “She doesn’t stop until the job is done.”

That includes when she’s coming back from an injury.

“I get through injuries by finding a way to be stronger and better and finding things that maybe I missed before that I can strengthen,” Vonn says. “I look at every injury as an opportunity to just be better.”

And in order to be better, she knows she needs to commit to her rehab program and be patient, two other admirable traits.

“Rehabbing from any injury is never easy and it’s never short. You have to keep working and you have to give it a chance for the rehab to actually do its job and for your body to heal. I use Theraband in pretty much everything I do with rehab,” Vonn says. “Once you put in the work and long hours, then you’ll start to get stronger and you’ll be able to do whatever it is you that wanted to do before you were injured.”

Vonn wants to help girls from all backgrounds know that they too can do whatever it is they want. So in February 2015, she launched her namesake foundation to help them follow their dreams and grow to be the best athletes, leaders, and people they can be. “I want to give kids the means and mental strength to say ‘Hey, I can do this,’” Vonn says.

Whether it’s on the slopes, in the gym, or at a high-profile event, Vonn’s confidence, determination, and passion for everything she does are sure to inspire the next generation of Lindsey Vonns to be as fearless as she is.