Talk of Olympic Skier Lindsey Vonn's Divorce Is Troubling

lindsey vonnThere's really no other way to put it: Olympic gold medalist Lindsey Vonn is winning! The champion skier was three for three in the World Cup competition this past weekend, winning downhill races on both Friday and Saturday, as well as the Super-G (an Alpine skiing "speed" event) on Sunday. Totally awesome! She deserves to enjoy this moment. 

But unfortunately, despite her amazing wins, there's a lot of "tsk, tsk"ing going on about Vonn's personal life. It's only been 10 days since she announced her divorce from her husband of four years, Thomas Vonn, a former U.S. ski team member himself who was also her closest adviser on the World Cup tour. Now, some spectators want to chalk her success up to "trying to prove herself" post-breakup or seem to be clucking about how amazing it is that Vonn is succeeding, despite her "turmoil in her personal life." Come on now, really? If Vonn wasn't a woman, would her divorce even be more than a passing thought?


I don't think so. If we were talking about Shaun White instead, the convo would be more like, "White announced his split from so-and-so significant other last week, but anyway ... HE NAILED IT AT THIS COMPETITION!! Cuz he's the bomb!" Not, "OMG, this poor guy ... he's just so resilient! He managed to not only compete but to WIN while going through a rough divorce! Our hearts go out to him!"

I'm sure Lindsey Vonn doesn't need anyone's pity or sympathy. In fact, I think she's been way too kind to even cater at all to press inquiries about her personal life. As we can very easily tell from her performance, the split seems to have had absolutely no bearing on her abilities on the slopes, so it shouldn't even be a part of the conversation. It's unfortunate that the timing worked out like this, but it seems like Vonn is ready and willing to move past it and focus on her athletic career. Spectators would do well to do the same.

Do you think the media focuses more on female athletes' personal lives?


Image via Nick Step/Flickr

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