Winter Olympics 2018: Vonn's four-legged friend steals the show

There was an unusual guest at Lindsey Vonn's news conference on Friday as the American was accompanied by her pet dog Lucy.

Vonn, for whom Pyeongchang 2018 will be her last Winter Games, faced the media ahead of the opening ceremony and was joined by her four-legged friend.

A gold medal winner in the downhill in Vancouver eight years ago, Vonn is hoping to end her Olympic career on a high note.

She plans to compete in the downhill, super G, and the combined but has opted out of the giant slalom due to the strain it could cause her knee.

In an emotional media conference, Vonn spoke passionately about her late grandfather and revealed how having Lucy in tow can help to combat the solitude of long stays away from home.

"She's usually in the hotel room whenever I'm racing," Vonn said. "She enjoys sleeping the majority of the day. I always have her with me, I got her about a year and a half ago.

"It's extremely lonely on the road and since I got divorced I've had a lot of free time on my hands at night and being in a hotel room is often extremely difficult.

"She travels with me everywhere. I questioned whether to bring her because it's a long trip but she's always with me so I figured I need her for the most important event."

Vonn's grandfather, Don Kidlow, passed away in November at the age of 88 and the American is hoping to do him proud on her Olympic swansong.

"It's harder in some ways that it's my last Olympics because I want to end on a high note and put an exclamation point on my career," said Vonn, who also claimed super G bronze in 2010.

"It took me until my third Olympics to figure out how to deal with the pressure. But I feel really good because it's not really about me or my career, it's about my grandfather and I'm just going to lay it all out there and whatever happens will happen. Everything happens for a reason and I have someone looking out for me.

"I want so badly to do well for him, I miss him so much. He was such a big part of my life, I hoped he'd be alive to see me. I know that he's going to help me, and I'm going to win for him."

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