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Thomas is also her bowling partner, bodyguard and self-esteem cop, cheering her up, for example, after she butchered the late turn and lost that race at Whistler. As an ex-racer he's singularly empathetic. He is over the moon for his bride, and vice versa. "My husband is my life, besides skiing," Lindsey writes on her MySpace page, "so don't even try to get my number!"
THEIR MUTUAL affection is abundantly appropriate, but not in a treacly, goo-goo-eyed kind of way. During some downtime in their condo at Whistler, Thomas was stooped before a gleaming, postmodern dishwasher, which, despite intense button-pushing, refused to wash dishes. "It really wasn't a problem," he said, "until Lindsey tried to run it."
"Shut up, Vonn," came her affectionate reply.
It all started when they would run into each other at racing venues. "I'd be arriving, he'd be leaving," she says.
"We'd have a day or two of overlap, and we just enjoyed each other's company," he says. "We kept in touch by e-mail."
They were friends, and then they were more than friends. They were very good together. That seemed obvious to everyone who knew them.
Almost everyone. Alan Kildow did not approve of his daughter's dating a man who was almost nine years older. "I can see any father being upset at the age difference," says Thomas, 32. "But I would at least try to meet the person and have a dialogue."
"I loved him," Lindsey says of Thomas, "and I didn't want to end my relationship just because [my father] said so. It forced me to take sides." They were married last September in Park City, Utah. The father of the bride did not attend—he wasn't invited—and Lindsey still doesn't speak to him.
Of the estrangement Kildow says, "As a father, as a parent, you want to protect and guide your children." He found the age difference "very troubling," especially in light of the fact that Lindsey was 18 when the two started dating. "As far as Thomas," adds Kildow, striking a conciliatory tone, "she's made her decision, and we've welcomed him to our family."
A PAIR OF eight-inch scars on Kildow's left knee marks the termination of a promising ski-racing career. After winning three U.S. junior championships, he blew out the knee when he was 18 while training with the Austrian national ski team. Kildow is now a partner in an international law firm that has an office in Minneapolis. He and Lindsey's mother, Linda Krohn, divorced in 2003. They have four other children: Karin, a freshman at the University of San Diego, and triplets Dylan, Laura and Reed, who are high school juniors in Apple Valley, Minn.