Lindsey Vonn inspires VMSS girls

“I was a dork in middle school. People didn’t understand why I was leaving so much for ski racing, and that distanced me from the in crowd even more.” This was the recollection of the middle school experience of a VMSS champion, Lindsey Vonn. You may know her from her incredible record-breaking ski races, or her inspirational foundation helping to give girls confidence. There is quite a good chance you know she attended Valley Middle and was a student walking in the same halls as we are.

On Monday, September 23, 40 VMSS girls and some staff went to the State Theatre in Minneapolis to hear Vonn give an inspiring message, on behalf of the Star Tribune, a local newspaper. The goal of this was to report on inspiring news, instead of the same old sad and shocking news stories we currently experience. got an exclusive look at backstage as well as the experience of going on the stage to take a picture as well. Some lucky VMSS girls even got to take selfies with the champion athlete! On behalf of the experience, 8th grader Adrianna Clark says “It was really fun to get to hear her (Vonn) speak. It was a good time overall!”

Vonn didn’t fit in when she was in school because she wasn’t really good at things besides skiing, which was the only thing so could do to express who she was. Vonn always loved doing skiing for fun and being at Buck Hill with her friends. Vonn was always competitive throughout her whole life.  Vonn saw a famous skier race and after what she saw she told herself and her family that she wanted to be a famous Olympic skier. They made a 10 years plan for her to be able to go to the Olympics when she was only 9 years old. The family had to move to Colorado in the Middle of her time at VMSS for her to be able to train for the Olympics, because it had big mountains which would give her better training.

She worked tirelessly to improve, even if she didn’t enjoy the training all the time. At 12 years old, she did 100 push-ups and 100 sit-ups every night and would run every weekend. Vonn says, “I wouldn’t change anything I did, it was all worth it.” She says she always dreamed of being an Olympian, but never thought she would accomplish so much. Multiple Olympic medals and 82 wins later, she has made quite a mark.

In 2015, Lindsay Vonn started her foundation to inspire young girls. “I try to pump them up and make them feel good. I want them to be the best version of themselves.” She says her foundation is her biggest accomplishment and the impact she’s making is more important than the medals she’s won. She hosts retreats and camps to not only instill a positive attitude, but to motivate young girls to perform their very best in whatever they do. Some advice she has for everyone our age is; “Social media is not real life, talk to your friends in real life and have a conversation,” and, “Be present with the people around you and have fun. ” 

It doesn’t matter how many times I’ve won, it matters what myself and others got out of it”

— Lindsey Vonn

        Vonn didn’t have flashy or overtly special beginnings, but she was able to accomplish so much.“It doesn’t matter how many times I’ve won, it matters what myself and others got out of it,” said Vonn. Many girls attending this experience said it was inspirational and made them want to do something important. Now engaged to P.K. Subban, an NHL player for the New Jersey Devils, you’d think Vonn would settle down and relax. But now, more than ever, she is dedicated to making sure young girls succeed. Her legacy of confidence and hardwork is still and forever will be impacting not only VMSS girls, but everyone around the world.