The three-time Olympic medalist announced her retirement in 2019
Lindsey Vonn
Lindsey Vonn
| Credit: Michael Loccisano/WireImage

Lindsey Vonn has settled into retirement.

In an interview with the New York Post's Alexa, Vonn, 36, opened up about life after leaving competitive skiing behind in 2019, noting that adjusting to her new routine wasn't easy.

"[Retirement] was really hard for me to get over, but I am finally in a really good place, which I am thankful for," Vonn said. "The more time away from the sport has been better for me." 

Vonn announced her plans to retire in Feb. 2019, citing her extensive knee injuries. She has won a total of 82 World Cup races — just short of Ingemar Stenmark's all-time record of 86 World Cup wins — and has three Olympic medals.

The former athlete told Alexa that without her training and competition regimen, she initially struggled to find areas of focus in her life. She explained, "There was something missing — skiing, which had always been there — I used racing as a crutch."

She also had to rediscover her love for skiing, without the competitive aspect. Vonn explained, "This year, I've skied quite a bit, and am finding my passion for it again. I'm realizing how nice powder is. It's a lot easier on my knees than racing and moguls."

Vonn, who recently told PEOPLE that the COVID-pandemic has helped her realize what's "important" in her life, shared similar sentiments with Alexa about how the crisis has led to some reframing for her.

"Honestly, right now, these have been some of the scariest times, because I don't know what is ahead," she said. "As an athlete, you try to control as many variables as you can. And I can't control any variables right now. I am just trying to stay in the moment and spend time with people I care about."

Last December, Vonn opened up to PEOPLE about looking forward to a "clean slate" in the new year.

"A new year, new hope, full of positivity and just kind of shedding 2020," she said of 2021 in the interview.

RELATED VIDEO: Lindsey Vonn Says She Still Gets Starstruck by Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson: 'How Are We Friends?'

"I just want to break free from it, and I feel like I'm so optimistic and so looking forward to a new year," Vonn said at the time, going on to reference the ongoing pandemic. "As long as people are healthy and we can get this vaccine going, and everyone can get back to work and be healthy, that's what I'm hopeful for and that makes me really excited."