February 05, 2015

BEAVER CREEK, Colo. (AP) There's more than one Vonn making a return to the ski scene this season.

Thomas Vonn, the former husband of four-time overall World Cup champion Lindsey Vonn, is at world championships this week helping out up-and-coming skier Dean Travers of the Cayman Islands. Thomas Vonn got back into the coaching business by doing some consulting work earlier in the season for a few U.S. skiers.

''Once I showed my face, a lot of people saw me around. People started wanting me to help them,'' Vonn said in an interview with The Associated Press. ''It's cool how it came together after being off snow for three years - feels like you're almost forgotten sometimes.''

Thomas and Lindsey Vonn divorced in 2011 after more than four years of marriage. He was her coach when she won Olympic gold in the downhill at the Vancouver Games.

Since their split, Thomas Vonn said he's ''laid low from ski racing - 2011 was a difficult time for me. Really tough time for me. Had a bad taste in my mouth, so I laid low for a while, regrouped.''

He said he was happy to see Vonn return strong this season after missing the Sochi Olympics because of two knee surgeries. She recently broke the record held by Austrian great Annemarie Moser-Proell for most World Cup wins by a female skier.

''There was never a doubt in my mind that she would break it,'' he said.

Thomas Vonn had no intention of coaching this season, but American slalom skier Hailey Duke asked him for advice. Long regarded as an equipment guru, he jumped on board. Vonn then hosted some camps and picked up more skiers, including Tommy Ford and Tommy Biesemeyer. He also started working with Travers, a promising 18-year-old who's skiing for a nation not really known for the sport.

''When you say Cayman Island ski team, a lot of people smile,'' Vonn said. ''But Dean's a legit skier.''

Vonn's helping out Travers for the season along with Jake Zamansky, his teammate on the national squad before Vonn retired from racing in 2005. Travers is racing in the super-G.

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