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February 18, 2010 5:36 PM

Lindsey Vonn's Legal Connections

Posted by Brian Baxter

Sports Illustrated cover girl, swimsuit model, and alpine skier Lindsey Vonn capped a big day for the U.S. Winter Olympic team on Wednesday by winning a gold medal in the women's downhill. While she had a rough day on Thursday, Vonn has long been a rising star on the U.S. ski racing team. At 25, she's already participating in her third Winter Olympic games in Vancouver.

As we read up on the athlete this past week, we discovered that both of Vonn's parents are lawyers--her father is a litigation partner with DLA Piper, and her mother is a solo practitioner in Minnesota. Vonn remains close to her mother, Linda Krohn, but she is estranged from her father, Alan Kildow. As the The New York Times reported in 2005, Krohn and Kildow divorced three years earlier, just before Vonn competed in the Salt Lake City winter games. Kildow, a former junior ski champion, introduced his daughter to skiing as a child and was her coach throughout his daughter's formative years.

The two had a falling out--in part because of Vonn's relationship and subsequent marriage to coach and skier Thomas Vonn--and haven't spoken for four years. (The New York Times Magazine recently covered Vonn's rise to prominence, touching on her troubled relationship with her father.) We've reached out to Kildow to ask about his daughter's success on the slopes, but we haven't heard back.

Kildow joined DLA's litigation practice in October 2005 from Minneapolis firm Oppenheimer Wolff & Donnelly, where he had practiced the previous four years. According to an announcement of the move on DLA's Web site, Kildow began his career as a banker at Norwest, which later merged with Wells Fargo. He then spent the next 19 years at Minneapolis firm Larkin Hoffman Daly & Lindgren.

At DLA, Kildow specializes in complex commercial litigation with a focus on advising clients in disputes arising from banking and insurance transactions. But Kildow will not be among the throng cheering on Vonn in Vancouver. The Associated Press reports that he'll likely remain in Minneapolis, supporting his daughter from afar. Understandably, Kildow dislikes discussing the rift in their relationship.

"I don't get into the details," he told The AP. "She's my daughter, I love her, and in that sense it's great."

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