Vonn opens up, will ski for more than herself in Pyeongchang

Getty Images  Sandra Behne

Sofia Goggia is going into her first Winter Olympics with the aim of stealing the show from American superstar Lindsey Vonn.

Vonn smiled and kidded around for much of the half-hour Q-and-A, but her mood changed when she was asked about her grandfather, Don Kildow, who died in November.

Shiffrin said she confronts anxiety - "a lot more mental stress these last two years than I ever had" - by working with a sports psychologist. "I'm going to win for him". "I really want to put an exclamation point on my career", said Vonn, who brought her dog Lucy to the session with reporters.

Yet when it comes to the Olympics, Vonn has a solitary gold medal, in her favoured downhill, from Vancouver eight years ago.

"I feel much, much better now and I'm excited". I'm going to give it everything I have and whatever happens will happen. "And I really hoped he'd be alive to see me but I know he's watching and I know that he's going to help me. And".

She plans to compete in the downhill, the super-G and the combined, but said Friday that she has opted to skip the giant slalom "because my knee is just not really in a place to do that".

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She also won super-G bronze at Vancouver 2010.

"I'm coming in on a hot streak", the 33-year-old said.

"In Lenzerheide I was emotional and crying and frustrated and not really myself so that was a sign to me that I was just a little bit too exhausted", she said of her final giant slalom World Cup race before the Games, where she finished seventh.

It's a dog. That's way better than lugging around Tiger Woods in your Vonn-tourage, don't you think? She has won her past three races, raising her World Cup total to 81 victories, a record for a woman and the second-most in history, five behind Ingemar Stenmark.

"I would like to compete in everything but I'm not sure if I'm going to have the energy to do that", she said.

"I'm very happy with my skiing right now", Vonn said.

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Denied her presence in Sochi four years ago through injury, the organisers gave her star billing here in a packed session that justified the indulgence. I've overcome a lot.

But the world cup hasn't been her focus this season - the Olympics has.

"When I warm up in the morning, I need to warm up my knee first, for 15 minutes. Even though he had more wins, he had a different schedule than her and had many more opportunities and different risk tolerance". My main focus this year was exclusively on the Olympics and I'm very happy with how I feel physically, mentally.

"She is usually in the hotel room whenever I'm racing. I know what I'm capable of, and I think I know how to handle myself better than I did".

"She's so impressive about staying focused in the process", said Mike Day, Shiffrin's coach with the US team. Linsdey Vonn has been an Olympian since she was a teenager.

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