Lindsey Vonn Puts Parenthood on the Back Burner

03/21/2010 at 08:00 AM ET
Charlie Riedel/AP

Skier Lindsey Vonn took home the gold medal in downhill at the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver, and has 33 World Cup wins under her belt, but one title will have to wait — Mom.

“I want to keep skiing as long as I can,” Vonn — who wed fellow Olympic skier Thomas Vonn in Sept. 2007 — told PEOPLE at Tuesday’s New York premiere of The Bounty Hunter.

“I want to stay 100 percent focused on my skiing. And then when I’m done, I want to be 100 percent focused on my family,” Vonn, 25, explains.

“I don’t want to mix the two.”

That said, when it’s eventually time for kids the Vonns have their sights set on a family of six — preferably “two boys and two girls” — and even have names picked out.

Can she share their choices?

“I can’t tell you,” laughs Vonn. “My husband said I can’t tell anyone in case someone takes the names!”

— Jeffrey Slonim

FILED UNDER: Exclusive , News , Parenting

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Joe on

I agree. Do you know how difficult it would be to have a baby and train for the Olympics at the same time? I barely have enough energy to make to the gym.

Kit on

Ahhhhh…this girl is just the sweetest. Has baby names picked out already! Babies and being a top olympic athlete would be very difficult; smart to wait so you can focus and enjoy.

Robin on

I totally agree with her about not telling because people will either take them or give you their opinion and once I shared what I wanted my future son’s name to be I got reactions ranging from “oh how awful” to “oh I like it a lot!” LOL! So, yep it might be best not to say anything!

Alisa on

She doesn’t want to mix family and career… but isn’t she married? I feel like I’m the only person who considers a husband/wife just as much a “family” as a husband/wife/kids are! 🙂

Kit on

She meant family as in having kids. The strain of having to put in long days with kids is tough for any working mother. I think its harder for a female professional athlete to have to make those choices as opposed to male athletes.

Alisa on

Kit, you just proved my point. To most people, “family” means kids and nothing else.

Lee on

I have to disagree with Alisa. Everyone has their own meaning about family and that is good.

lis on

considering her husband is also an olympic althete, I’m going to guess both of them understand what it means to put your focus on your sport for long periods of time. (rather than each other)

she sounds very grounded.

Kit on

Family could mean what works for you and your situation. I am just taking what the article stated to mean that Lindsey was referring to family as in starting a family with kids. Since she is a married athlete questions have already begun to her about her future and this seems to be a something that means a lot to her.

etsy on

We saw her here in Vancouver and it was phenomenal to watch. I agree that training and having kids would be very hard work, but I hope they don’t wait too long- 4 is a lot of kids and so many women are putting career before family and finding out it’s not so easy to get pregnant. I know she is only 25, but age/kids just seems to be something else for career women to ‘worry’about!

GiannaG on

Smart girl!

steph on

Alisa I agree with you!! I have just had several long and kind of annoying conversations with my fiancee trying to explain that we are indeed a family, and will officially be a family when we get married, we don’t have to wait til we have kids to be a ‘family’.

CelebBabyLover on

Alisa- You aren’t the only one. I also see a husband and wife as just as much of a family as a husband, wife, and kids. I know several married couples that don’t have kids, and I don’t consider any of them to be any less of a family than the couples I know who DO have kids. 🙂

dfs on

Etsy, she didn’t say she wanted to get pregnant four times, she said she wanted four kids. You don’t have to get pregnant to be a mother.

Diana on

DFS- While that is true she may not mean that she wants to be pregnant 4 times I do hope that she has thought about that fact because it seems like so many people don’t think about that and then expect to get pregnant right away after 30. I thought about the same thing as Etsy. If she is planning on having 4 kids then she should consider whether she wants to actually have them herself because if she does waiting until I would guess 30 (I’m guessing if she is planning for the next olympics) that might be pushing it a bit to have 4 kids. I feel I may have been the only one who didn’t love Lindsey in the Olympics (Meaning her personality in interviews) Just kinda curious if I was the only one.

momof4 on

Smart girl! I’d much rather see her put off having her babies for a few years until she can focus completely on them instead of having them and putting them in daycare or being raised by a nanny while she focuses on her career.

And since when is starting a family at 30 considered old?? I had my first of four at age 29 1/2 and had no problems at all getting pregnant each time.

Kudos to Lindsey for thinking it through and planning it out. She’s only 25–she has plenty of time.

G on

It’s not like she’s already 30 and saying that. She’ll probably be fine (assuming she wants four pregnancies). Granted I started trying at 30 and a year and a half later have had no success — but I probably would have had the same problems even if I had started a few years earlier. 30 is not advanced maternal age.

Best wishes to her in her career and family!

Kit on

Looking at most career women I think 30 seems to be that magical age where you decide to try for that bigger family. Lindsey is not re-inventing a formula; its whats best for her and her husband. I began at 30 and had two kids by 33. Her outlook on family is so refreshing in today’s world.

molly on

I think its ok to have kids (family) and work or do what you enjoy. REgarding not telling the names, just in case someone would take them, taht’s a weird reason. If so, so what, does it really matter that some of your fans like your names so much they want to use them too? Noone can take the name. THey can use it, but not take it.

CelebBabyLover on

molly- I don’t think it’s the fans she’s concerned about. My guess is that she knows her family and friends might read this interview, and thus they’d see the names if she told them and could “take” them.

I can understand not wanting a family member or friend to name their child the same thing you plan to name theirs, considering that if, say, both you and your sister have babies with the same name, things could end up getting confusing! 🙂

Kit on

plus its kinda weird to announce a name before a baby comes. I know even when pregnant we would not tell anyone the names of our kids until they were born. Kind of a nice surprise for our family. Family must mean a lot to her since she has given it a lot of thought.