SCHLADMING, Austria - With media attention on her personal life intensifying and some 400,000 fans expected, Lindsey Vonn will be surrounded by bodyguards at the Alpine skiing world championships starting Tuesday.
An average of 30,000 fans per race are expected in this small Alpine village over the 13-day championsips, which start Tuesday with the women's super-G and end Feb. 17.
"There's going to be an incredible amount of people here in Schladming and it's a very small space, so Red Bull (her personal sponsor) has kindly hired security for me just to make sure I can get in and out and not have any difficulty," Vonn said Sunday at a news conference arranged by the U.S. Ski Team. "But I don't expect there to be any problems, but it's better to be safe than sorry."
Gossip sites have been filled with reports over an alleged relationship between Vonn and Tiger Woods, and Vonn was asked by a local TV reporter whether the golfer would be coming to watch her ski.
Vonn replied, "Oh my god! I don't know. You should ask him."
The reporter then asked again, "in the name of Schladming."
"I have no idea. I have no idea," Vonn said, repeating herself with a big smile and some giggles.
Vonn's divorce from her husband of more than four years, Thomas, was finalized last month.
Vonn took a nearly month-long break from the circuit recently to recover from an intestinal illness. She has won two races since she returned last month.
"I actually don't know what's going on in the U.S. as far as media pertaining to these world championships," Vonn said. "I haven't really been going online very much. I've just been focusing on preparing for world championships."