Vonn Completes Her Other Goal in South Korea
She scattered some of her grandpa's ashes near the downhill ski course
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 22, 2018 2:08 PM CST
United States' Lindsey Vonn competes in the women's combined slalom at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Jeongseon, South Korea, Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018.   (AP Photo/Alessandro Trovati)
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(Newser) – Lindsey Vonn came to South Korea with the goal of taking home an Olympic medal and leaving something even more special behind. She did both. The American ski great said Thursday she recently scattered some of the ashes of her grandfather, who served during the Korean War, on a rock near the mountain where the downhill races were run. "I know that it would mean a lot to him to be back here, a part of him is in South Korea always," said Vonn, who shared her story with the AP and the Chosun Ilbo newspaper. Vonn said she sprayed parts of Don Kildow's ashes "just a few days ago" on a rock that she was told was special when she visited South Korea last year to be named a Pyeongchang Olympic ambassador. She described the location as "right by the men's downhill start."

Vonn burst into tears when she was asked about her grandfather during a news conference in Pyeongchang this month before the Olympics. He died in November. "I miss him so much," she said. "He's been such a big part of my life. And I really had hoped that he would be alive to see me (at this year's Olympics). But I know he's watching, and I know that he's going to help me and I'm going to win for him." Vonn won a bronze medal in the downhill, but skied out of Thursday's slalom leg of the Alpine combined in what was likely her last Olympic race. Later in the day, a group of elderly South Korean men gave her family some gifts and a letter of thanks to mark her grandfather's service during the 1950-53 Korean War. "To be able to race for him in these Olympics was very special for me. And I tried everything I could to win for him," Vonn said.

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