Skier Lindsey Vonn reveals battle with depression

Dec. 14, 2012 at 1:06 PM ET

Justin Lane / EPA file /
Champion skier Lindsey Vonn revealed her battle with depression and opened up about her failed marriage to her former coach in an interview with People magazine.

Lindsey Vonn has no fear of hurtling down mountains as the most decorated female skier in American history.

However, she admitted in an interview with People magazine that her life off the slopes has been much more challenging. Vonn, 28, said she sought medical treatment for depression in 2008, and also talked about the end of her marriage to her former coach.  

"Everything about my life seemed so perfect to people,’’ she told the magazine. “But I struggle like everyone else.”

Before she sought treatment in 2008, she was at a particularly low point.

 "I couldn't get out of bed anymore,’’ she said about that time period. “I felt hopeless, empty, like a zombie."

Last year, she filed for divorce from husband Thomas Vonn, who was also her skiing coach. During her marriage to Vonn, she was estranged from her father for six years. She has since patched up that relationship. 

"Everyone knows marriage is tough," she told People. "But it just wasn't working, and it was making me miserable. Nothing bad happened, but there was just unhappiness. That's the only way I can even describe it — unhappy.

"Divorce doesn't fit my cookie-cutter image. But I got to the point where I said, 'I don't care if I ever win another race. I just can't live like this.'’’

Her revelation about her past struggles comes during a tough week in her skiing career. She crashed into the protective netting in a race in France on Friday, thwarting her attempt to pick up a fifth straight World Cup win in the speed events on a course where she normally sees success. The crash came one day after she veered off course on her downhill training run and finished in 48th place. It was a rare stumble for Vonn, who won a gold medal at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver and is one of only two women in history to win four overall World Cup championships. 

Regardless of any ups and downs on the slopes, Vonn said she is much happier than she has been in quite a while.

"All the parts of my life are finally in sync," she told People. "I accept who I am, and I'm moving forward." 

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