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That's the Spirit: How Olympian Lindsey Vonn Stays Fit and Focused

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Olympic skier Lindsey Vonn, 25, vies for a medal in the Winter Games in Vancouver this month. Find out how this top athlete stays fit and focused.
When did you start winning big ski races?

"I won my first major international competition when I was 14. To have lasted this long in skiing, I've had to be consistent in my training every day. I truly believe that if you do the work, results will come."

What do you think gives you an edge over your competition?

"Mental toughness is my strength. During a grueling workout, I imagine what my competition must be doing to prepare for the race. Then I make sure I'm doing even more than they are."

What is the toughest part of being a skier?

"Dealing with the elements is one of the difficult parts of skiing. It can be cold and miserable, but you're up there on the slopes sweating. Good base layers and proper gear are my must-haves."

What about the psychological side of the sport -- what challenges do you face?

"The minute you start thinking about what could happen if you crash at 90 miles an hour, it messes with your head and you stop trusting yourself. Although I've had two bad accidents -- one during the 2006 Olympics, when I had to be helicoptered off the mountain -- I'm fearless. I just want to get back out there."

Do you follow a special diet?

"For the most part, I eat pretty well, but my weakness is sugar. In the summer, when I'm not competing, staying away from sweets is a challenge. But shouldn't I occasionally treat myself? Kaiserschmarrn is my favorite dessert."

Who is your sport idol?

"I love playing tennis to relax, and I'm a huge Roger Federer fan. He's an amazing champion and a great role model. He's also incredibly humble about his success."

What does "FITNESS" mean to you?

"It's my way of living a healthier and happier life."

Originally published in FITNESS magazine, February 2010.

 

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