Lindsey Vonn skis during the women's downhill training of the FIS Ski World Cup in the French Alps resort of Val d'Isere. Photo Courtesy Philippe Desmazes
USA TODAY - When Lindsey Vonn made her decision not to ski this past weekend in the World Cup opener, her mother exhaled.
"I didn't want her to race, but I didn't tell her until after she made her decision," Lindy Lund said. Such are the unspoken words, from mother to daughter, from daughter to mother.
Sunday when they watched the final version of a four-minute film on their relationship, which will be released today as part of Procter & Gamble's "Thank You, Mom" campaign, both wiped away tears of a different sort of unspoken emotion, then shared their thoughts in a joint interview with USA TODAY Sports.
Vonn begins the film by saying, "My mom is really tough. I mean, she had a stroke when she gave birth to me. I've never once heard her complain about it. She always taught me, no matter what the situation, I can overcome it."
"I started crying," Lund said Sunday. "Lindsey's never said that to me before. ... They think you know it, but they don't say it. It was really moving."
Added Vonn: "It's all the things we think about our mothers but we never have a chance to say it. ... My mom has always been tough; it's something that has never been verbally said."
Twenty-nine years after the stroke, Lund has problems walking and difficulty with balance. "We would do a lot of sports as a family - biking and skiing, which my mom can't do, but she would never complain about it. She was always excited to be there waiting when we finished," Vonn said.
Lund also will be there at the finish of the World Cup race Nov.29 in Beaver Creek, Colo., when Vonn will compete for the first time since tearing the anterior cruciate and medial collateral ligaments in her right knee and breaking her tibia in a brutal crash Feb.5.
Vonn decided not to race the giant slalom in Austria this past weekend because she needed more time to train. "To be honest, Soelden was never really in my goals," Vonn said. "But then Chile (where she trained in August) went so well I was really hoping to race. I'm very, very antsy to get going. ... My knee felt great, but the fact is I only trained five days (in Soelden) ... and it's tough to go into one of the most difficult giant slalom races of the season having only trained five days. I thought I was going to be able to do it, but in the long run it has no effect on my season and my main goal is the Olympics."
In the film, part of P&G's "Raising an Olympian" series, Vonn said in a sport full of injuries, last season's crash is in another league. With the Games beginning in 102 days, Vonn said winning there would validate the lesson she learned from her mother.
Watching the clips of a pint-sized Vonn skiing on Buck Hill, the ski area not far from the family's Minnesota home, brought back plenty of memories - and an occasional cringe.
"Who dressed me?" Vonn said about her late '80s attire.
"That was the way everybody was dressed," Lund quickly countered as the mother-daughter banter continued.
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