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Estranged Dad of Vonn Watches Win on Internet

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´╗┐NBC: Lindsey Vonn was all business in the Olympic downhill Wednesday. So was her dad.

lindsey vonn

Alan Kildow, the estranged father of America's latest golden girl, wasn't at Whistler.

Instead, he was at work, watching on a computer in his Minneapolis law office as she fulfilled a lifelong ambition.

Her pursuit of an Olympic medal was something Kildow fostered by teaching her to ski at 2 years old, then moving the family from Minnesota to Colorado a decade later to nurture her talent.

"It was terrific skiing," Kildow told The Associated Press by phone. "Absolutely terrific."

Then he composed a congratulatory e-mail, hit the send button and went back to work.

Vonn might reply, but she might not.

The two had a falling out years ago, a feud neither likes to discuss. But Kildow doesn't mind chatting about the way she speeds down the mountain, better than any woman in the world. Vonn beat teammate Julia Mancuso by 0.56 seconds.

Like his daughter, Kildow didn't let the moment get to him. He knew this slick, bumpy course was set up perfectly for her, bad shin and all. He didn't fret as skier after skier tried to beat her time of 1 minute, 44.19 seconds. He knew how good that performance was.

"Technically, she is the superior skier," Kildow said almost matter-of-factly. "Her ability to master the course was apparent."

By all accounts, the disconnect between father and daughter began before the 2006 Turin Olympics. Kildow didn't attend those games, either.

The tension apparently escalated over Vonn's relationship with Thomas Vonn, a former U.S. Olympic skier who is nearly nine years older. The two were married in September 2007.

Vonn's husband has become her coach, adviser and the rock in her life. He handles almost everything, so she is free to do one thing -- ski fast.

Shortly before her downhill run Wednesday, Thomas Vonn gave her a pep talk: Think of this as another race. Once gold was secure, they shared a quick moment together. They raced to see who would cry first.

Just like everything else, she won that one, too.

"I'm usually not the most emotional guy and I was having a hard time," Thomas Vonn said. "I told her, 'You deserve this. You did it."'

It was the first of many emotional moments for Lindsey. She was emotional when she saw her mom, Linda Krohn, in the crowd, and again after spotting her brother and sister in the throng lining up for autographs. It was an emotional day all around.

"Since she was a little girl, she wanted to win more medals than anyone ever had," Krohn said. "Olympic gold is the ultimate."

Her brother, Reed Kildow, took his show of support even further. He shaved an "L" into the hair on the left side of his head, a "V" into the right.

It was actually Lindsey's idea. They were bored the night before the race and she talked him into the trim.

Anything for a soon-to-be gold medalist. Anything to relieve the tension of the moment.

"The Sports Illustrated cover, all the publicity ... you could tell it was starting to build up," Karin Kildow, the middle sister, said. "It was definitely a lot of pressure on one run, one day. For that to all work out -- it's amazing ... really cool."

Alan Kildow couldn't agree more. So much so, he tuned into NBC's tape-delayed broadcast to catch the winning run a second time.

"I want to see this," Kildow said, "again."

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