Lindsey Vonn has had her fair share of injuries in her ski career and now she’s opening up about them.
Joining the One Mind Foundation for a livestream on Friday, the Olympic athlete, 35, had an in-depth conversation about “the science of risk-taking and the brain health experience of elite athletes” on One Mind’s weekly “Brain Waves” special.
Vonn was in conversation with Brandon Staglin, president of One Mind. The One Mind Foundation “is a lived-experience-led nonprofit focused on helping people with brain illness and injury to recover so that they can succeed in their lives.”
Vonn also chatted with Dr. Heather Berlin, Cognitive Neuroscientist and Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.
On whether or not she thinks her brain works differently as an athlete than a non athlete, Vonn says, “I definitely think I’m unique in some ways. I don’t have anything in my brain says, ‘Woah, you’re going to fast… maybe you should slow down.’ I don’t know if that is impulse control or if I am an adrenaline junky – I love going fast and having risk.”
She added, “There are certain elements to ski racing where I thrive, that makes a lot of people nervous. Even after injury, they tend to think more about what they are doing but I don’t think about it, I just go.”
Even now, after being retired for a year, Vonn said, “When I got older I don’t think I got any more cautious, it was always kind of the same.
And according to Dr. Heather Berlin, there are differences in the two brains – Even giving athletes an advantage.
Thankfully, Vonn’s new hosting gig, the YouTube special “Tub Time” with fiancé P.K. Subban, gives her that high of skiing: “I’m on set, I’m on the spot… I have that adrenaline.”
And amid the coronavirus, Vonn says she’s so thankful for Subban and her three dogs.
The livestream also featured a performance from science rapper Baba Brinkman.
This week’s “Brain Waves” aired live on One Mind’s Facebook page Friday at 12 p.m. PT/3 p.m. ET.