Lindsey Vonn was emotional Friday while speaking to the media in Pyeongchang, South Korea ahead of what she says will be her final Olympics while also revealing her motivation for her fourth Games.
Vonn, 33, will compete in three races but has decided to sit out the giant slalom. Instead, she will focus her attention on the downhill, the super-G and the combined.
Vonn missed the 2014 Sochi Games after undergoing surgery on her right knee, and just days before competing in the Winter Games, she said her knee “is just not really in a place” to compete in the giant slalom adding, “I just don’t think I can contend for a medal, so there’s really no point.”
However, the emotional part came when she was asked about her grandfather who served in Korea with the Army Corps of Engineers. She was going to bring him to Pyeongchang to watch her compete, but he died Nov. 1 at the age of 88.
“I want so badly to do well for him and I miss him so much,” she said with her voice breaking, per USA Today. “He’s been such a big part of my life. I really had hoped he would be alive to see me. I know he’s watching. I know that he’s going to help me.
“I’m going to win for him.”
Back in November, she wrote in part about her grandfather on Instagram, “You taught me to be tough, to be kind, and above all, to ski fast. Now, every time I ski down the mountain I know you’ll be there with me. I’m proud to be your granddaughter and I will think of you always.”
“I will race for you in Korea and I will try as hard as I can to win for you. Please look out for me.”
Vonn’s first race is scheduled for Feb. 17 in the super-G. She won a bronze in that event at Vancouver in 2010 and a gold in the downhill.