Olympic gold medalist reached the highest peak of athleticism for humans, so now she’s turning her attention to dogs.
Olympic gold medalist Lindsey Vonn has reached the highest peak of athleticism for humans — so now she’s turning her attention to dogs.
She’s hosting “The Pack,” premiering Nov. 20 on Amazon Prime. It’s a canine competition reality series following 12 teams of dogs and their human companions.
“I was presented with this opportunity, and as soon as they said ‘dogs,’ I was in,” Vonn, 36, tells The Post. “I love animals, especially dogs — I have three of them– and they’ve been such a huge part of my life. Post-skiing career, I was looking for a new challenge, and I thought this was a perfect fit. I could be around animals and explore the world.”
During the show, the dogs and owners are divided into two different “packs” that compete against each other in various challenges scattered across the globe, including Switzerland, Costa Rica, London and Mexico City. All the while, Vonn is accompanied by her trusty furry friend Lucy, a 4-year-old King Charles Spaniel who she also brought to the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea, before her retirement in 2019.
“I’ve been to a lot of ski resorts in my life, but had never visited a lot of these places that we did on the show,” she says. “It was a fun adventure for both of us.
“I had never been to Costa Rica. I haven’t really had too many beach-y vacations in my life. We had toucans trying to break into our hotel window every morning. It was a really incredible experience.”
As the series progresses, some human and dog pairs are eliminated from each team until just one is left standing. The winning dog-owner duo gets a $750,000 prize — $500,000 for them and $250,000 going to the animal charity of their choice.
“That aspect of the show is very important to me and I’m very happy that we did that,” Vonn says about the emphasis on animal charities.
But, unfortunately, Lucy was not up to the task of some of the challenges. In Costa Rica, the dogs and owners must walk across a narrow rope bridge while the owners climb rocks with their canine companions. In London, dogs must “herd” balls into a designated area.
“It was pretty cool to watch,” says Vonn. “We did most of the challenges before the contestants did. So I got to see how Lucy would fare if she was actually competing. It’s safe to say that she wouldn’t have done that well — but the skills that they were able to do were incredible. There were some very talented dogs on the show for sure.”
In terms of the pressure, Vonn says that hosting a dog show wasn’t that different than participating in the Olympics.
“I’ve never been on TV in this way before,” she says. “I had a very small part in ‘Law & Order’ but it was totally different. This is a competition show, and you have to really deliver your lines at the right time in the right way. There’s not a lot of wiggle room. The first couple episodes were really intimidating. It was oddly very similar [to the Olympics] because your adrenaline is so high and you have to stay calm, deliver and perform.
“I love [‘The Pack’] because I have Lucy, and it’s not a traditional hosting job,” she says. “So I don’t know that I would do [hosting] for any other show. But for this show it’s perfect for us.”