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Lindsey Vonn Empowers Next Generation

By Courtney Harkins
April, 3 2015

Lindsey Vonn is the fastest female downhill and super G skier in the world. She is also the winningest female ski racer in history. She holds Olympic medals and World Championships medals. She has her own line of downhill suits and athletic wear.

But, Vonn is deeper than just her athletic achievements you read about on paper. Behind the trophy faade, Vonn has a passion for inspiring young girls and helping them achieve their dreams. And this season, she decided to act on it. Meet the Lindsey Vonn Foundation.

Vonn appeared on Late Night with Seth Meyers to talk golf, Tiger Woods and her new foundation.

“I had always wanted to start a foundation,” said Vonn, when asked about what prompted her to dive into this project. “I’ve always been drawn to kids, but I wasn’t able to do skiing and the foundation at the same time. So when I was injured, one of the best things I was able to do was start the foundation.”

Alongside her sister Karin Kildow and boyfriend Tiger Woods, Vonn went to the drawing board. There, she realized that she wanted to stay away only being an athletic role model. Instead, she chose academics. “The purpose of the foundation is to inspire and create opportunities for young girls to succeed in life,” she said.

Lindsey Vonn began the Lindsey Vonn Foundation to influence young girls and give them the confidence they need.

When she hashed out her idea, Vonn partnered with Z Girls, a group that mixes fun and education through summer camps led by mentors and professional athletes, started her former U.S. Ski Team teammate Libby Ludlow. “They basically do day camps where they teach girls how to set goals and teach valuable life lessons that will hopefully stay with them their whole lives,” said Vonn about Ludlow’s organization. “That will be the first thing we’re going to do—start working with her and have camps this summer.”

Vonn launched the Lindsey Vonn Foundation at the 2015 World Championships in her hometown of Vail to great success. And she plans on using all of the money raised there to start camps, beginning in Vail and expanding from there. “We’ll keep it small—a minimal amount of camps to start off,” said Vonn. “But we’ll get things up and running, so when I retire I can spend a lot more time on it.”

Vonn grins with students from the Vail Mountain School.

At the end of the day, Vonn knows she can have a lasting impact on these young girls, just like Picabo Street did on her when she was a kid. “I met Picabo when I was nine. Sometimes just really small things like that can make a big impact, a lasting impact,” she related. “I’m starting my foundation on that. Just a simple autograph or giving a kid a hug, that can do a lot of good.”

To get involved in the Lindsey Vonn Foundation, check out