Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Lindsey Vonn Blames Course Conditions for Injury

A Boston Blickbild Exclusive

US skier Lindsey Vonn is blaming the International Ski Federation (FIS) for unsafe course conditions being the real cause of the injury that she incurred in at the World Championships in Schladming. The others have reported this story and it's already old news. So how can this be an exclusive story when the others have already written about it? Our intrepid reporters and researchers have found a unique angle on this story that the others did not dare to print. The Boston Blickbild was the only news outlet that Laura Kildow, Lindsey Vonn's sister, wanted to talk with. Laura is a blogger and aspiring writer. When Lindsey retires from racing, Laura plans to write a book about her experiences travelling with Lindsey. It will surely be an international best seller.  Let's hear what Laura has to say about Lindsey's injury and the conditions in Schladming.

BB: Laura, we at the Blickbild are happy to have you represent your sister while she is making the rounds of the talk shows.
Kildow: That's me. I've always been second fiddle to Lindsey. Nobody wants to talk with me unless Lindsey is unavailable. Then all of a sudden I'm the media's best friend.
BB:  How is Lindsey doing now?
Kildow: She was operated on just a few weeks ago and she is already riding an exercise bike, doing the stair master, lifting weights, doing back handsprings and flips on the floor, and training to run a marathon.
BB: I'm sorry, you said that Lindsey is preparing to run a marathon with torn knee ligaments and a bone fracture in her leg? You do realize that a marathon is 26.2 miles or 42.2 kilometers?
Kildow: That's right. But Lindsey is superhuman and can do anything. When she comes back to the World Cup, the first thing she wants to do is challenge the other women to a marathon race. And she will win! After she beats the women in a marathon, she wants to challenge all of the men on the World Cup to a marathon. She will beat them all too!
BB: So we can expect Lindsey to be at the Sochi Olympics next year?
Kildow: Oh yes! Even if she gets a little behind schedule on her rehabilitation, she will only need one week of preparation to be ready for the Olympics. She also plans to compete in the 2016 Summer Olympics in artistic gymnastics, the men's decathlon, and the marathon. She will win gold medals in all of those events because nobody can beat her!
BB: Why did Lindsey choose to have her surgery in the States? Austria has some of the top orthopedic surgeons and rehab facilities in the world.
Kildow: That Austrian hospital was awful! First of all, everything was in German. The doctors and nurses all spoke German too.
BB: German is the national language of Austria.
Kildow: Well it should be English so that people can understand what everyone is saying and read the signs. It's a good thing that Lindsey's doctor was with us. He speaks German and helped explain things to me. He even got better food for Lindsey and me than that weird schnitzel and goulasch.  We went from that horrible Austrian hospital with bleak corridors and 12 people to a room to a proper hospital in Colorado. I had to give up my bed in the recreational vehicle so the doctor could have it and sleep on the floor while we were in Schladming. But in the end it was worth it.
BB: What is it like to travel with Lindsey?
Kildow: It's great! I love being with my sister, even though she gets all of the attention and I'm merely a background ornament. Let me tell you about our recreational vehicle. Lindsey has a king-sized bed and I sleep on an army cot with a lumpy mattress. She has a big screen TV and I have a tiny portable black and white one. I also have to cook all of our lunches and dinners. She does make breakfast, but she always puts too much milk in my cereal so I end up having to make my own breakfast too.
BB: When you drive together, who does the driving?
Kildow: Again, I have to do all of the driving. You don't realize how difficult it is to drive in Europe! The streets are so narrow and there are no signs. I don't know how people travel in Europe without a navigation system. It's so hard just with a map.
BB: Yet somehow the 11th and 12 century crusaders were able to travel from Spain, Italy, France and Germany to Jerusalem without a navigation system or even detailed maps.
Kildow: Well it was a simpler time. Now things are much more difficult. I don't think they even had cars back then.
BB: They didn't. Cars weren't invented until much later. Anyway, tell our readers why Lindsey felt that the conditions in Schladming were unsafe.
Kildow: First of all, it was very foggy in Schladming during Lindsey's run.
BB: Our intrepid researchers watched the video of Lindsey's accident more times than they cared to. It was perfectly clear during her run.
Kildow: Lindsey would have won the race. She was leading the race up until that point.
BB: Again, our intrepid research team watched the video. You are correct that she was leading after the first split. But at the second split, just before she hit the jump, she was behind the leader Tina Maze by 0.12 seconds. How is that leading the race when she lost time between the first and second splits?
Kildow: Well, she would have won if the course was safer. The race was also delayed. But what really caused the accident was that there was soft snow where Lindsey landed her jump. Someone didn't do a good job clearing the course. The snow was starting to soften because of the delays, but nobody cared. Look what happened. Lindsey got hurt because of careless course preparation.
BB: I can almost see your logic. But nobody else was badly hurt during the Super-G race. Ski racing is an outdoor sport and always has a risk of injury.
Kildow: Yes, but Lindsey had a hard season with her stomach aches and depression. She didn't need an uncaring course worker in Schladming to add to her misery. The FIS is going to pay for what they did to Lindsey! Daddy is a lawyer and he is looking into how he can sue the FIS for all of her pain and suffering. I don't know which was worse for her, the knee injury or the stomach aches and depression.
BB: What do you think your chances are of winning a lawsuit against the FIS?
Kildow: We will win! The FIS will give Lindsey everything that she wants because she is entitled to it. We will also sue Tina Maze and the country of Slovenia for Lindsey's injury.
BB: I can possibly understand why Lindsey wants to sue the FIS. But what does Slovenia have to do with how the course was prepared? The course workers were Austrian and not Slovenian.
Kildow: Tina Maze won the gold medal, which was rightfully Lindsey's. This season Tina has been a big reason why Lindsey had stomach aches and depression. She is not only winning the overall globe, she is also stealing the glory that should have been Lindsey's for earning 2000 points in a season. Guess which country Tina is from? Slovenia. That whole country should be sued for producing a person who caused my sister such pain and suffering this season.
BB: (showing Laura a map of Europe) Can you show me where Slovenia is?
Laura: (pointing to Estonia) Right here! They just spell it differently than we do because they use the Russian alphabet and not the normal one.
BB: Ah, that must be why Slovenia is spelled E-S-T-O-N-I-A. (short pause) Other athletes also got injured in Schladming and they are not suing the FIS or Slovenia. They are back home recovering. They are also not making the rounds of talk shows.
Kildow: Nobody cares about them because they are not Lindsey Vonn.
BB: Lindsey does have a habit of blaming the course or the FIS when things don't go her way. At the 2010 Olympics she said that the conditions should not be so difficult. I guess the courses were hard for her because she failed to finish three out of her five races.
Kildow: As you recall, she also had a bruised shin and needed treatment with special Austrian cheese to heal it. That was very painful, almost as much as her belly aches and depression.
BB: In 2011 she said that the world championship course in Garmisch was unsafe, yet she still competed there with a concussion. Now she is saying that Schladming was unsafe. Do you sense a pattern here?
Kildow: No I don't sense any pattern.  Lindsey always feels that safety is important.
BB: Laura, do you realize that under new rules that will take effect next season, athletes will no longer be allowed to complain about course conditions? If Lindsey complains like this next season, she will have to race in a mask of shame.
Kildow: Nobody told me about it. That doesn't sound very nice.
BB: One more thing before we conclude this interview. You just said that Lindsey feels that safety is important. But the first downhill in Lake Louise had fog delays and other racers complained that they couldn't see very well through the fog. How was Lake Louise different than Schladming?
Kildow: The other women must be very poor skiers because they couldn't get down the course through a little bit of fog. I can't believe that the other women on the World Cup are such crybabies. They are just sore losers because they can't beat Lindsey. No wonder she wants to race against men! Anyway, the race in Lake Louise was obviously safe because Lindsey won it. Duh!
BB: And when two races in Lenzerheide were cancelled two years ago for safety reasons, Lindsey complained about it being unfair and a catastrophe. If she is so pro-safety, she would have understood the FIS's reason for the cancellations.
Kildow: We all know what happened in Lenzerheide. The FIS took a bribe from the German delegation to cancel the races and give the overall globe to Maria Riesch. Those cancelled races had nothing to do with safety and everything to do with ensuring that Lindsey didn't win the overall globe. There is a big difference between Schladming, Lake Louise and Lenzerheide.
BB: Laura, I want to thank you for this interview. You are just as interesting an interview subject as your sister. And that concludes another Boston Blickbild exclusive interview.

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1 comment:

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