'Law & Order' scene won't push Vonn from slippery slope
By Philip HershLindsey Vonn has a scene on Law & Order's 20th season finale May 24.
Sometime earlier that day, the 2010 Olympic alpine skiing champion intends to put a little law and order back in a schedule that has been a whirlwind of celebrity appearances since she returned from Europe in mid-March after winning four World Cup season titles: Overall, downhill, Super-G, combined.
Since then, she has walked the red carpet at the Academy of Country Music awards in Las Vegas, attended the White House Correspondents Dinner in Washington, sat with Eli Manning and designer Tory Burch at the Met Costume Institute Gala in New York and starred at the Race to Erase MS Gala in Los Angeles.
And, following up on her Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue appearance, Vonn was ranked No. 59 on the 2010 Maxim Hot 100 in an issue that came out this week. She and Danica Patrick (No. 25) are the only athletes on the list.
But the time has come to start preparing for the next ski season.
``I'm going to start working out the same day my episode airs,'' Vonn said Thursday. ``I'll hit the gym and begin my six-day-a-week, six-hour-a-day training program. We start on-snow training in the beginning of August in New Zealand.''
Vonn, still just 25 years old, has not pushed skiing from the center of her life.
``I can't imagine myself doing anything else but skiing, at least for the moment,'' she said. ``Skiing is my passion.''
Even after the highs -- and injury angst -- at the Olympics, there was no question of her not going back for the final two weeks of the World Cup circuit, despite the difficulty of shifting her mind from celebration mode to competition mode.
``It was a little anti-climactic to finish off the season,'' she said. ``I'm really thankful I was able to do it well.''
Vonn said she was more nervous about being on the TV set with her favorite actors than in the start house about to tear down a downhill course at 70 miles per hour.
``I was completely shaking, but I had a grin from ear-to-ear,'' she said. ``I was supposed to be a serious character that is ratting out her boss, and I just couldn't stop smiling. I think the producer was scratching his head a little bit.
``All the other actors were able to joke around between takes and then as soon as they called, `Action,' they were serious. I was still just smiling. I don't know if I did a great job.''
Vonn is such a fan of "Law & Order" she had said she was willing to play a corpse just to get on the show. ``My role was a little more fun that that,'' she said.
If you see her on the street, Vonn might be wearing the "Law & Order" robe that was part of her swag for doing the scene. ``I've pretty much had it on since it came to the house,'' she said.Ironically, even as she was talking about how much she loves the show, the entertainment website deadline.com was reporting that "Law & Order" will not be renewed next year. An NBC spokesperson declined to comment.
``I really hope it's not cancelled,'' she said. ``I would be devastated.''
She got her biggest kick from being on the show after the filming ended, when the other actors started trying on her Vancouver medals -- gold from the downhill and bronze from the Super-G.
``I was standing there with my favorite characters, hanging out with my Olympic medals,'' she said. ``It was definitely a surreal moment.''
When she is home, Vonn keeps the medals close to her bed and doesn't leave home without them.
``They are kind of part of me now,'' she said.(Photo: Lindsey Vonn and country singer Joe Nichols presenting the record of the year award at the Academy of Country Music Awards last month in Las Vegas. Ethan Miller / Getty Images.)