ASPEN, Colo. - Olympic gold medalist Lindsey Vonn and her husband of four years are calling it quits.
Vonn confirmed Sunday night that she and Thomas Vonn, a 1994 Northwood School graduate, have started divorce proceedings. Her husband also serves as her chief adviser.
"This is an extremely difficult time in my personal life and I hope the media and my fans can respect my need for privacy on this matter," Lindsey Vonn said in a statement provided to The Associated Press.
Vonn elected to skip the season-opening World Cup slalom race Sunday to rest a sore back she recently tweaked in training. She plans to return to the slopes Tuesday for a downhill training run in Lake Louise, Alberta, the site of the next competition.
Thomas Vonn, who graduated from Saint Lawrence University in 2001, said in an email to The AP that he filed for divorce last Monday. The couple were married Sept. 29, 2007.
Lindsey Vonn became one of the faces of the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, winning a gold medal in the downhill and a bronze in the super-G - all on a badly bruised shin.
Her shining moment in Vancouver was years in the making, beginning when her father, Alan Kildow, introduced her to skiing. He even moved the family to Colorado to foster that passion for the slopes.
But she had a falling out with her dad a few years ago. By all accounts, the feud began before the 2006 Turin Olympics, when she was known as Lindsey Kildow.
Part of the escalating tension had to do with her relationship with Thomas Vonn, a former U.S. Olympic skier who is nearly nine years older.
Over the years, Thomas Vonn became a rock in her life as he helped coordinate interviews, provided tips on the course and made sure all the logistics were taken care, freeing Lindsey Vonn to focus on skiing.
She's blossomed into one of the top racers in U.S. team history, winning three overall World Cup titles. She also has 42 World Cup wins, tying her with Sweden's Anja Paerson for fourth place on the all-time list.
With her victory in the giant slalom last month in Soelden, Austria, Vonn became just the fifth female skier to win a race in all five Alpine disciplines. She's also the second American skier to complete the discipline sweep, joining Bode Miller.
Vonn could add to her win total this week at Lake Louise, on a hill where she's typically skied very well. She has 14 podium finishes at the venue, including eight wins.
Vonn said in a statement that she will "continue to be coached by the U.S. Ski Team and look forward to competing the rest of the season."