A look at Lindsey Vonn before she was Lindsey Vonn

Olympic skiing superstar Lindsey Vonn has earned the title  “America's Sweetheart” through her remarkable success on the mountains and her All-American persona.

The 25-year old has parlayed her appearance on the cover of Sports Illustrated into two Vancouver medals.  Vonn earned gold in the Downhill and bronze in the Super-G.  Some observers were disappointed in her medal count.  These claims are nonsense considering the severe shin injury suffered by Vonn shortly before the games.  Walking away with multiple medals should be determined a grand accomplishment, after sustaining a serious injury so close to the start of competition.

Years before Lindsey Vonn became a worldwide icon, little Lindsey Kildow learned how to ski at a venue very different from that of Whistler Mountain. 

The Twin Cities native first put on a pair of skies at the age of two. When she was six, Vonn began taking lessons at Buck Hill in Burnsville, Minnesota, under the tutelage of coach Erich Sailer.  Buck Hill can be described as just that, a hill.  Its measures 300 feet in height and is accessible by a towrope.     

At age 13, it became abundantly clear that Vonn had a gift for the sport. As a result, her family relocated to Colorado, so she could pursue her passion high up in the Rocky Mountains.

In the AP video below, Erich Sailer explains what Vonn was like as a little girl.  Sailer describes Vonn as ambitious, determined and full of energy.  This clip presents a glimpse into the early life of this Olympic champion.