Alan Kidlow, father of Lindsey Vonn, gave some unique insight into the type of relationship he may have with his daughter after comments he made about her bronze medal win in the downhill.
“It’s great skiing”, Kidlow explained. “But it reminds me of something that [American skier] Buddy Werner used to say. He said there’s two places in the race, first and last, and I only want one of them.”
So what you’re really saying is that if you’re not first, you’re last? Ricky Bobby would be proud, sir.
The pair had been estranged for many years due to Vonn’s marriage to her ex-husband, Thomas Vonn. A marriage that Kidlow never approved of, which put a halt on all conversations between the father and daughter for several years. But recently, the two have reconciled their differences. Kidlow even made the long trek to PyeongChang to watch live what will probably be his daughter’s last Olympics.
Lindsey Vonn’s bronze-medal finish in the downhill competition was supposed to be part of her Olympic ride-off-into-the-sunset moment. PyeongChang was to be her swan song, a beautiful conclusion to a prodigious ski career that included winning America’s first-ever women’s gold medal in downhill (Vancouver 2010), two Olympic bronze medals, two World Championship gold medals, three World Cup silver medals, two World Cup bronze medals and 81 total World Cup wins. To say her skiing résumé is long and distinguished would be an understatement.
Kidlow did step back his harsh criticism a bit later when he expounded that Vonn was not aggressive enough in spots during the race, adding that she was “just not quite risking enough. Not straightening the line out, just the ski was a little … not quite carving in some places like it should have. But a great result. A great result.”
Vonn and her father reunited last year following the death of her grandfather – who was firmly in the American’s thoughts going into the Games.
“I wanted to win so much for him,” Vonn said in reference to her late grandfather after the race.
“But I still think I made him proud. Our family never gives up, and I kept working hard and I’m really proud of this medal. I know he is, too.”
Sometimes a father’s love and appreciation takes a little more than a bronze-medal effort, just ask Luke Skywalker.
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• Ivanka to represent U.S. at Olympic Closing Ceremony
• Canadian women suffer historic curling loss
• A bittersweet ending for Lindsey Vonn