When Lindsey Vonn was training for the Winter Olympics, her biggest challenge was learning how to deal with having a coach for a husband!
"At first, it was difficult because I was like, 'Stop criticizing me!' He's like, 'I'm not. I'm just trying to help you!'" the downhill skier, 25, told UsMagazine.com of training with Thomas, 34, her hubby since 2007. "It took awhile to get past that."
(Before Vonn met Thomas, she was coached by her father, Alan Kildow, who fostered her love of skiing since she was two years old. Kildow -- who disapproved of Vonn dating Thomas, a man nine years her senior -- has been estranged from Vonn since Thomas replaced him as coach and reportedly watched her Olympic competition on the Internet.)
Vonn acknowledges that her biggest struggle with Thomas -- a former U.S. Olympic team skier who has been her coach for four years -- was learning to separate "a business relationship" with "a personal, separate, private" one. But then, she says, "we just got into a routine, and we know exactly what to say to each other... He knows just what to tell me to make me not nervous, so it works out really well."
When she won the Olympic gold medal last week in the Women's Downhill Ski event, she jokes to Us that she didn't have to choose who to hug first.
"On and off the hill, he’s a great coach, but above all else, he’s my biggest supporter, and when I saw him at the finish, I completely broke down," she tells Us. "I was broken down before, but I just completely lost it, and I just said thank you and he said, 'Lindsey, you know you deserve it.'"
She says he is "the reason" for her success because "he's taught me all the things he learned" in his own skiing career.
Vonn adds: "He's always been there for me, no matter what the situation."