'Lindsey Vonn: The Climb' Doc Premieres in January

One-hour film chronicles skiing champion’s rehabilitation from two major injuries and her comeback.
© Marco Rossi/Red Bull
By Scott Hart

Documenting her remarkable comeback from two devastating injuries, "Lindsey Vonn: The Climb" goes inside the operating room and follows Vonn's race to compete at the 2015 World Championships in Vail, Colorado.

The one-hour film will debut in the U.S. on Sunday, Jan. 25, at 3:00 p.m. ET on NBC. Worldwide availability will be on Red Bull TV starting Jan. 28. Produced by Red Bull Media House, in association with NFL Films and NBC Olympics, the film will give viewers an inside look into the past 22 months of Vonn’s career.

"Lindsey Vonn: The Climb" chronicles Vonn’s journey as she overcame two major knee surgeries, and remarkably returned to the top of the podium at a 2014 World Cup downhill race in Alberta, Canada, a critical milestone as she pursues more victories at the upcoming 2015 World Championships, in her hometown of Vail.

This is the most inside look I’ve ever given to my world, and I hope it inspires others

On February 5, 2013, Vonn crashed in a super-G, her first race of the 2013 World Championships in Schladming, Austria. After being airlifted off the mountain to a nearby hospital, doctors discovered that the Olympic champion had suffered complete tears of the MCL and ACL in her right knee, which required season-ending and career-threatening surgery.

Nine months later, with the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in sight, Vonn crashed again during a training run, re-tearing her right ACL, and she ultimately was forced to withdraw from the Sochi Olympics.

"Lindsey Vonn: The Climb" features never-before-seen video of Vonn’s second crash. Cameras take viewers into the operating room as renowned orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews repairs the superstar athlete’s knee. The film then follows Vonn’s physical and emotional struggles as she attempts to return to the top of her sport, while remaining in the spotlight as her sport’s biggest star.

The last two years have been filled with some of the biggest ups and downs of my career, and I’m excited to share this story

With extraordinary access into her life, "Lindsey Vonn: The Climb" documents Vonn’s nearly two years of grueling rehabilitation, including her rehab sessions at the U.S. Ski Team’s training facilities in Vail, training camps and competitions in Chile and across Europe, and the photo shoots and red carpet events that come with her stardom.

“The last two years have been filled with some of the biggest ups and downs of my career, and I’m excited to share this story with my fans. This is the most inside look I’ve ever given to my world, and I hope it inspires others who are going through challenges to keep getting back up when they are down,” Vonn said of the film.

"'Lindsey Vonn: The Climb' will invite viewers inside Lindsey’s journey and a very personal part her life rarely seen by the public,” said Joe Gesue, Senior Vice President, Production, NBC Olympics and Executive Editor, NBC Sports Group. “This film is a compelling and very human portrait of an extraordinary athlete fighting pain and uncertainty to regain her place as the dominant figure in one of the most demanding and dangerous sports in the Olympic world.”

In the roller coaster ride of her comeback, you’ll see Lindsey in pain, at rock bottom, and her triumphant return to racing

“Films like this don’t work without transparency, and Lindsey was on board from day one. She knew for us to tell her story that she had to let us in – and she did,” said Steve Trout, Director, NFL Films. “In 'The Climb,' you’ll see Lindsey the daughter, the sister, the friend. And in the roller-coaster ride of her comeback, you’ll see Lindsey in pain, at rock bottom, and her triumphant return to racing.”

In addition to capturing Vonn’s time in the gym and on the mountain, viewers are side-by-side with Vonn as she shares the difficult process of sitting out the Olympics and watching the Sochi Games with her family at home. The film culminates with Vonn’s remarkable return to competition as she leads a historic U.S. sweep of the podium in the World Cup women’s downhill on Dec. 5, 2014, in Lake Louise, Alberta.

Vonn, the most successful ski racer in American history, is the only American woman ever to win Olympic gold in the women’s downhill, which she accomplished at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, where she also won bronze in the women’s super-G. In addition, Vonn has five world championship medals and 61 World Cup victories, which is just one victory behind the all-time record by Austrian great Annemarie Moser-Proll.

Follow Vonn on Instagram and join the #LiVeTheClimb conversation.

Encore presentations of "Lindsey Vonn: The Climb" will air on NBCSN beginning in February. The film will be available digitally on Red Bull TV starting Jan. 28.

 

 

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