It was truly a sight to behold. It seemed the entire town came out yesterday to welcome the best U.S. female ski racer of all time, Lindsey Vonn, as she returned to her home for the first time since earning her Olympic medals.
Vail’s Lionshead was simply a sea of people, residents and tourists alike. People cheering, waving “Lindsey is Epic” signs, and finding other ways to exude their pride and joy at being in the same town as Lindsey.
After being introduced by former U.S. Ski Team racer and Vail local Chad Fleischer, Ski Club Vail director Aldo Radamus, Vail mayor Dick Cleveland and Vail Resorts’ John Garnsey, Lindsey finally took the mic. “There are so many people”, she gushed. “Wow. I’m so proud to be back in the community. It’s so great to have you all here cheering for me. It makes me feel like you guys understand what I’ve accomplished and it means the world to me”.
After that, a group of children approached the stage to ask Lindsey pre-formed questions. One little girl asked how much Lindsey’s Olympic gold medal weighed. To answer, Lindsey removed it from her neck and put it around the girl’s. That girl will remember that moment for the rest of her life.
Then another youngin’ asked Lindsey what her favorite ski run at Vail is. Clearly her answer is “Lindsey’s”, but before they named a run after her, her favorite one was Riva’s Ridge.
To end the official ceremony, Vonn passed an American flag, symbolizing passing the torch, to young Ski Club Vail athletes. Finally, she signed autographs and posed for pictures for an hour. A great homecoming party and an overall great day for Lindsey and for Vail.