Vonn used her platform to speak openly about topics other athletes often shied away from, including mental health and gender equality. She talked often about her friendship with Street, a mentor, and how she hoped to help inspire and empower girls. She didn’t want to be viewed as the best female skier — she wanted to be one of the best skiers, period — regardless of gender.
When you talk to women players, whether they play basketball, soccer, tennis or ice hockey, they mostly want to be seen as athletes and workers, and not simply as stand-ins for "pure" sports as men's sports continue to grow as businesses and male athletes continue to reap those benefits. If people are willing to bet on women's sports, and are in turn willing to watch women's sports at higher rates than now, it should only stand to benefit those athletes. Not coincidentally, both concepts ring true when it comes to college athletes and the myth of amateurism.