Vonn vows to win for late grandfather

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Olympic gold medalist Lindsey Vonn is on her way to South Korea for the Winter Olympics, but only after encountering a series of delays.

The 33-year-old, who won downhill gold in Vancouver 2010, said: 'I want so badly to do well for him. The gold she returned in Vancouver eight years ago was the first by an American woman in the downhill. Her grandfather Don Kildow passed away at the age of 88 in November.

There already are plenty of expectations from others heading into her first race, the super-G, on February 17.

"I really want to put an exclamation point on my career". She said on social media that it will be especially emotional for her due to her grandfather's passing, saying she would "make him proud". "I miss him so much, he' been such a big part of my life and I really had hoped that he would be alive to see me, but I know he's watching and I know that he's going to help me and I'm going to win for him". I always have her with me. I know it's a comparison between sports and I don't think there's a sport in the Winter Olympics where you can even win 23 medals across three or four Olympics.

Vonn missed the Sochi Olympics because of a knee injury, and struggled for much of last season after breaking her arm and suffering nerve damage in her hand. "I always have her with me", said Vonn, whose dog has been her constant companion for the past 18 months, from her home in Vail to stops throughout Europe on the World Cup circuit. She's usually in the hotel room whenever I'm racing.

She said the the pressure is even greater now because this is her last Games and "because I want to end on a high note".

"Because of the schedule and because it's my last Olympics, it's very important to me to attend", she said, "and I'm going to get as much of the Olympic experience in these next two weeks as possible".

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But she chose to sit out the giant slalom, saying that her knee "is just not really in a place to do that".

But the relatively risk-free course could quickly turn unsafe for skiers desperate to make the most of their shot at an Olympic podium by throwing caution to the wind. Now, one more time, she encounters a different set of circumstances. Not just physically but also mentally. With all Vonn's travails - she figures, given all her injuries, she has spent three complete years in rehab - it was easy to downplay her potential impact here.

"I definitely am going to ski another season", she said.

"She's so impressive about staying focused in the process", said Mike Day, Shiffrin's coach with the US team.

"I would like to compete in everything", she said.

A dog sits, stays and listens, as if what you say truly matters. Linsdey Vonn has been an Olympian since she was a teenager.