Well, it’s official. Lindsey Vonn and Tiger Woods are dating.
It’s been a little over two months since the rumors began circulating out of Europe, speculating that the World Cup and Olympic skiing champion was in a romantic relationship the champion golfer. Over the course of the following weeks, neither athlete would confirm nor deny the accusation, only admitting to a close friendship.
Despite their aversion to placing any type of romantic label on their “friendship,” the couple was repeatedly spotted in very telling situations. They were first spotted together after meeting at a charity event last April. Then in February, when Vonn suffered her season-ending crash during the FIS Alpine World Cup super G race in Schladming, Austria, the skier was spotted boarding Tiger’s private jet to make her return trip to the states. Finally, just this month, Tiger was spotted driving his golf cart near his luxury yacht ”Privacy”, with a woman matching Vonn’s description riding shotgun. It would seem “the cat was already out of the bag.” On Monday, both athletes announced their relationship status via Facebook.
Vonn posted a status update which read, ‘‘I guess it wasn’t a well-kept secret but yes, I am dating Tiger Woods. Our relationship evolved from a friendship into something more over these past few months and it has made me very happy.’’
Woods updated his page to corroborate with Vonn’s announcement, which read, ‘‘This season has been great so far and I’m happy with my wins at Torrey and Doral,’’ Woods said. ‘‘Something nice that’s happened off the course was meeting Lindsey Vonn. Lindsey and I have been friends for some time, but over the last few months we have become very close and are now dating.’’
Tiger followed up his announcement with a joint message, which read, “We thank you for your support and for respecting our privacy. We want to continue our relationship, privately, as an ordinary couple and continue to compete as athletes.”
The irony of requesting privacy after releasing professional photographs to millions via the world’s most popular social network has not been lost during the post-announcement media frenzy. It is a clear, calculated move, which was no doubt, one of the most high profile publicity moves in recent memory. In the photo Tiger’s Nike “swoosh” and Vonn’s Under Armour logo are prominently displayed. With this announcement, the world has been introduced to sport entertainment’s newest power couple.
While there is a significant age difference between the two sport icons, with Lindsey at 28 and Tiger at 37, they have a great deal in common. Both are living legends; Vonn is the most winningest skier in the history of the sport, and Woods is the most successful golfer of all time. In terms of relationship history, both have their share of drama. Tiger endured an extremely public divorce with his wife, Elin Nordegren, in 2010 when his multiple affairs put him into the media spotlight. Although Lindsey’s divorce from husband and former coach, Thomas Vonn, was far less dramatic, the skier’s love life has been the topic of discussion and speculation since the announcement in November 2011. Her divorce was finalized in January 2013, leaving Vonn free to pursue new love.
Vonn continues to recover from her injuries, while Tiger is slated to play in this weekend’s Arnold Palmer Invitational. Whether the mass media adheres to the couple’s request for privacy is highly questionable. With so many endorsements and rating opportunities on the table — it’s clear this isn’t the last we will hear about ” Liger!”