As an Olympian in PyeongChang right now, alpine skier Lindsey Vonn certainly has better things to do than paying attention to Twitter trolls who were attacking her after she posted about not medaling in the Super-G. But still, Lindsay Vonn shut down Trump trolls on Twitter in a free moment that she did find.
"Frustrating to be so close to the podium and to have made such a big mistake...but that’s ski racing," she wrote. "I’m proud of the way I skied and how I attacked the course. I gave it my all and came up short. That’s life. Now it’s on to the Downhill!"
Fairly benign as far as tweets go, you might think. However, many of those who were holding a grudge about Vonn's anti-Trump political views decided to take it as an opportunity. "Your president was watching. You let him down. Karma," wrote one person. "If Lindsey Vonn hates Trump so much, why doesn't she refund all the free training, hotels & flights she got from the US taxpayer in order to train for the
#Olympics," wrote another.
Vonn's tweet didn't only elicit vitriol, however. Some people came to her defense — including retired soccer player Julie Foudy. "I just spent last 20 min's reading thru tweets directed at @lindseyvonn. Sickened & disgusted once again by the lack of humanity that engulfs our country," Foudy wrote, responding to Vonn. "She just raced her damn heart out & Trump supporters gloat/cheer/celebrate her inability to medal. Is this what we've become?"
The skier then responded to Foudy with a tweet actually aimed at the masses of Trump supporters. "It’s ok Julie. Not everyone has to like me but my family loves me and I sleep well at night," Vonn wrote on Twitter. "I work hard and try to be the best person I can be. If they don’t like me their loss I guess... Thank you for the support."
This didn't exactly stop the trolls from coming at Vonn, but based on her next response, she had clearly devoted all the time and emotional energy to them that she cared to.
"Tomorrow is another day and another opportunity to become better. Goodnight," Vonn wrote on Twitter. She didn't clarify whether the message was meant for herself or for the people berating her over her political beliefs.
After all, Vonn still has a big week ahead of her, and multiple Olympic competitions coming up in the next several days mean that her time is better spent elsewhere. She'll be racing in the women's downhill event on Tuesday, and her fans will be watching that one with high hopes, as she won gold in the same event in Vancouver. She's also planning on competing in the alpine combined on Thursday and Friday, so she's got two more shots to prove the Trump trolls that their claims of karma are misplaced.
Either way, Vonn exhibits an ideal way of responding to trolls on the internet. Instead of stooping to their level, Vonn took Michelle Obama's advice and went high when they went low. It's fitting, too, as Vonn started the Lindsey Vonn Foundation to strengthen community ties by supporting girls as they pursue success in both the athletic and the academic realm. Now, she's used this ongoing Twitter attack as an opportunity to serve as a role model not only on the slopes, but also in the world of social media. Anyone paying attention just got a lesson not only in how to lose gracefully as a public figure, but also how to deal with baseless insults and unprovoked online harassment.