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Lindsey Kildow goes public with troubled relationship with her father

Lindsey Kildow goes public with troubled relationship with her fatherLindsey Kildow has decided to make her difficult relationship with her father public in order to clear the air before the international spotlight turns on the U.S. Ski Team in 2006.

In interviews with Ski Racing editors and other members of the media this week at Copper Mountain, Colorado, where the U.S. Ski Team was training, Kildow said she has cut off contact with her father, Alan. She said she wanted to make that public now, so it does not because a distraction when the 2006 Olympics roll around.

In a Denver Post article by John Meyer, she said “what I don’t want is it to be a big explosion” in February, when the Olympic Winter Games are set to begin on Feb. 10. “I didn’t know when exactly to tell people about this problem,” Kildow said. “I’ve said it, and I’m not going to say it again.”

Kildow, 21, is America’s top female downhiller. Last year she finished fifth in the World Cup downhill standings, third in super G and sixth overall. Last year she got her first World Cup win at Lake Louise; 20 at the time, she was the youngest women’s World Cup victor of the season (Tina Maze of Slovenia, who won three times, was 21).

Ski Racing magazine profiled Kildow in 2002.

Here are some of the highlights of Kildow’s interview with Ski Racing from Tuesday, Nov. 15 at Copper.

Q: Things have really taken off for you. How do you feel about it?
Lindsey Kildow: I always wanted to be Picabo (Street) and she’s always done the ChapStick commercials, or whatever, but I didn’t expect it to be quite like this. It’s just been a lot of press and it’s not easy. It’s hard to manage your time. It’s difficult but worthwhile, I think.

Q: What’s been the most exciting commercial or exposure that you’ve had?
LK: One thing that was cool was my photo shoot with Nike in the spring. I’ve never really been to a production that was that exciting before. They had the full-on RV with the wardrobe and the makeup person and the hair person and the sweat person – who makes you look like you’re sweating – and the wind guy for your hair and five photographers. It was crazy, but it was cool. It’s an interesting feeling to be the center of attention like that.

Q: When you were growing up in Minnesota and later when you were skiing with Ski Club Vail, did you ever imagine this would happen?
LK: When you’re young, you dream of being famous. But until you experience it, you don’t really know how much time it takes to do the things you dreamed of doing.

Q: Your dad was a junior skier, but he never reached this level. How does he feel about your success?
LK: He and I actually aren’t speaking right now. He’s always thought that I was going to be the next Anna Kournikova, which is pretty extreme. But he’s always wanted the best for me. He made that Web site for me, he kind of had a little bit more understanding of what it was going to be like when I got to this point. I really had no idea.

Q: Tell us about the Anna Kournikova comparisons?
LK: Right before the 2002 Olympics, there had been this explosion of female sports, like the [U.S. women's] soccer team and Anna Kournikova and he kind of wanted me to be that image, that sportswoman who is intelligent and good at skiing and he had this whole idea what I was going to be.

Q: How did you feel about that?
LK: Well, I was younger, and I was like, ‘Are you sure dad? Anna Kournikova? I don’t think people know skiing as much as they know tennis, but whatever floats your boat.’ I thought the whole Web site thing was cool because I had never had really good pictures taken of me and it was just an interesting … another interesting thing going on. But I didn’t understand how much it was going to take to be what he wanted me to be.

Q: What do you want to be?
LK: I want to win an Olympic gold medal, I want to win the overall, I want to accomplish my goals skiing. But I also want to be a role model for kids. I want to be a female athlete that people can look up to – that little kids admire. Hopefully I can give some inspiration to other people. I want to be recognized for the work that I have put in and that my family has put in.

What do you think?

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