You can't talk for long about gold medalist Lindsey Vonn without bringing up her husband, coach, and media strategist, Thomas. The former Ms. Kildow married him in 2007, and he has been a constant presence on the slopes — and on television cameras — since. After Vonn won Wednesday's downhill with a dominating performance, NBC captured the poignant moment when she saw her husband at the bottom of the hill and gave him a long embrace. "Incredible" was the word he kept using over and over.
With Thomas expected to remain in the spotlight through the rest of his wife's four events, Fourth-Place Medal thought it would be a good time to take a look at five things you should know about Lindsey Vonn's husband, Thomas:
1. He is a former Alpine skier and competed for the United States in the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City. He finished ninth in the super giant slalom event there.
2. When the couple started dating in 2005, the relationship opened a rift between Lindsey and her father, Alan Kildow. He reportedly disapproved of the fact that Thomas was nine years older than Lindsey. The new boyfriend was also becoming something of a tutor to Lindsey, another potential problem, since Alan had long served as Lindsey's coach. When Lindsey and Thomas were eventually married, Alan Kildow was not invited to his daughter's wedding. They are estranged to this day.
3. Lindsey says it has taken time to learn to accept criticism from Thomas, but that they know now where to draw the line in their marital relationship. She told the New York Times:
"We learned you can hash out a lot in confined spaces. ... As husband and wife we know that sometimes we have to flip the switch and be a normal couple, not a coach and athlete. We don't talk about racing as much as you might think."
4. Thomas usually watches the race from the bottom of the hill, but sometimes Lindsey will call him up to the gate to help calm her nerves with a pep talk. In Wednesday's downhill, Lindsey initially put in a radio call for that very purpose, but she backed off at the last second. Later, Thomas watched Lindsey's American teammate Julia Mancuso ski a nearly flawless run. He radioed up to his wife, "You're going to have to be perfect to win."
5. Friends have nicknamed Thomas "TV," for both his initials and his penchant for showing up on television broadcasts.
Other popular Olympic stories on Yahoo! Sports:
• Moment you weren't supposed to hear on NBC
• Commentators in trouble over Johnny Weir cracks
• Davis’ gold saves sport amid 'embarrassing' accusations