The public often only gets bits and pieces about what life is like for a professional athlete. This is fine. They are just people who have a very public job.
Lindsey Vonn’s job was professional skier. She was one of the best.
In her book My Story: Rise (HarperCollins, 2022) Vonn tells her story of learning to ski on a small mountain in Minnesota, how at age 9 she told her dad she wanted to be an Olympian and how her whole family was affected by this decision.
It’s one thing to have read about her injuries in newspaper articles, it was quite another to hear it in her words. I can’t imagine the pain that must linger.
Clearly, she is not the only athlete to undergo multiple surgeries to continue the sport they love. Nor is Vonn alone in having to call it quits because her body could not take any more abuse. She understands she had the best care and that her job was to get better. Unlike the weekend warriors who suffer injuries, we have to fit rehab in with the rest of life’s responsibilities. Still, the abuse a skier’s body endures even without injury is taxing.
Beyond the injuries, this book also delves into the sexism Vonn endured in the ski industry and outside of it. She talks about dealing with depression, and how so many people thought it would end her career if she spoke openly about it. It didn’t.
Vonn also delves into what the U.S. Ski Team is all about—and it’s not always flattering. She admits to how she could have been a better teammate.
She reveals how she would prepare for competition, how she practically memorized the race course so when she was on it there would be no surprises.
As a memoir, this is clearly Vonn’s story of her life. It’s a story worth knowing. This is an easy read and definitely an interesting one.