Lindsey Vonn announced her engagement to hockey player P.K. Subban in August, and she's dedicated most of her retirement life to her foundation, rather than planning her wedding ceremony

By Benjamin VanHoose
December 17, 2019 11:47 AM
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Unlike skiing, wedding planning doesn’t come super naturally to Lindsey Vonn.

The Olympic gold medalist announced her engagement to hockey star P.K. Subban back in August, but even though she has officially entered retirement from professional skiing, don’t expect her to dedicate her newfound free time to venue-booking and flower-picking.

“I’m trying to sort it out,” Vonn, 35, tells PEOPLE of her planning progress while opening up about the Lindsey Vonn Foundation‘s partnership on a new grant with Dick’s Sporting Goods. “That sort of thing is not my strong suit — I’m kinda missing that female gene.”

The bride-to-be says she’ll chip away at her nuptials to-do list on her own for the time being, while her fiancé, 30, stays dedicated to the ongoing hockey season.

As for when to expect their ceremony, the date is still up in the air as well.

“We’ll probably wait until he’s done with his season so that he can stay focused,” she says. “I’m thinking in the summer sometime, but when in the summer, we’re not sure.”

P.K. Subban and Lindsey Vonn
| Credit: Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

Wedding planning aside, most of Vonn’s retired life is spent working on her foundation, which aims to help young athletes prosper and excel in their chosen sport.

It’s a mission important to the accomplished athlete because of the inspiration she received at a young age from a pro she looked up to.

At 9 years old, Vonn attended an autograph signing with Picabo Street, an Olympic alpine skier, who — in their brief encounter — had a significant impact on her career.

“She’s really the reason I wanted to be an Olympian,” Vonn says, “and so, that’s basically the premise to my foundation — I spent maybe a minute with Picabo Street and she changed my life … if I can spend even more time with kids, how can I positively impact their lives?”

Vonn’s most recent outreach of support came to 14-year-old Greta Goldsmith of Park City, Utah. The teen skiing prodigy has overcome several hurdles in her budding career — she fully recovered from two severe knee injuries — making her a prime candidate for a new scholarship opportunity.

By combining efforts between the Lindsey Vonn Foundation and Dick’s Sporting Goods, Vonn provided a Sports Matter grant toward Goldsmith’s coaching — not to mention a private one-on-one session with her idol.

“She’s just a very sweet girl,” Vonn says of Goldsmith, who she was able to surprise with the big news on Monday. “… It was just a very special moment.”

Vonn’s key message to aspiring athletes is one of perseverance, and by partnering with Dick’s, she plans to award more than $180,000 in grants as a way to ease financial burdens and help young sportsmen and women go all-in on their training.

“What they’re doing is really incredible,” she says of the Sports Matter scholarship program. “It teaches kids values and a lot of lessons in life that are still important and critical to their development.”

She adds: “Every time I faced an obstacle, the bottom line was that I found a way through it, and that’s the message I’m giving these kids: No matter what you face, you can always find a way through it as long as you stay positive and work hard.”

Retirement, for Vonn, doesn’t mean she will never dust off her own ski boots and goggles and return to the slopes.

While she admits she doesn’t necessarily miss everything about the sport, she anticipates the day she can hit the slopes again — possibly even with a few little ones of her own racing down beside her.

“I look forward to the time when I can ski and it’s not so much associated with pain for me,” she says. “The last couple years have been a struggle so I hope I get to the point eventually where it’s not as bad.”

Vonn adds: “I think I’ll be more excited to do it when I have kids and then I can share that experience with them.”