The cover of The Red Bulletin says it all: Lindsey Vonn pulls no punches. The famous Olympian speaks candidly about her career-threatening knee injury—and what it means for her future in sports—in the magazine's December issue. The athlete posed for pictures in Miami in August, and E! News has an exclusive behind-the-scenes look her photo shoot with sisters Laura Kildow and Karin Kildow.
The blond trio worked with photographer Michael Muller for the piece. "I really like Michael. He's really fun to work with," Vonn raves. "I've seen the pictures that he's done and he's pretty incredible."
Muller was equally effusive when asked about Vonn's siblings. "The sisters were amazing," he raved. "They're very supportive and fun to work with."
In the Q&A, Vonn says she tries not to think about the accident that sidelined her during the Alpine World Ski Championships in February. She has, however, watched it "a few times" on YouTube. "I wanted to know if it looked the way it felt," she says, noting that seeing it again made her "pissed."
"It looked exactly the way it felt," she explains. "My right ski came to a stop in the soft snow, my lower leg twisted to the right, my body fell over my knee, which dislocated."
There is a silver lining to her story, however: taking a break from training gave Vonn a better understanding of her body's limitations. "Before, I could always push my way through injury, but I couldn't this time. For the first time I had an injury which was greater than my will," she tells The Red Bulletin.
"In the first three weeks that was extremely hard to accept. I couldn't do anything. I couldn't go get a coffee. I could only sit. There was no pushing—only waiting."
Vonn also credits her boyfriend, Tiger Woods, with making her a "better athlete."
"I wouldn't say I'm unprofessional, but the consistency that Tiger shows in his professionalism—wow. No one has any idea how hard Tiger works. Tiger says he wants to be fitter than all the others, that's his way. So he pushes himself a lot further than he perhaps needs to, and to see that pushes me in turn," Vonn says. "The other unbelievable thing about Tiger is his mental toughness. There were moments in golf tournaments where I said to myself, 'Okay, Lindsey, this is the next level of self-confidence, concentration, control. When you make it to this level, it will make you a better skier.'"