Skier Lindsey Vonn Plays 'Not My Job' On 'Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me!' Since Vonn is probably used to hearing people yell, "Go, Vonn! Go!" We've invited her to answer three questions about Van Gogh, the Dutch impressionist.
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Not My Job: We Quiz Olympic Skier Lindsey Vonn On Vincent Van Gogh

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Not My Job: We Quiz Olympic Skier Lindsey Vonn On Vincent Van Gogh

Not My Job: We Quiz Olympic Skier Lindsey Vonn On Vincent Van Gogh

Not My Job: We Quiz Olympic Skier Lindsey Vonn On Vincent Van Gogh

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/942602267/943501562" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Alexis Boichard/Agence Zoom/Getty Images
Lindsey Vonn of USA competes during the Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cup Finals Men's and Women's Super G on March 15, 2018 in Are, Sweden.
Alexis Boichard/Agence Zoom/Getty Images

Lindsey Vonn put on her first pair of skis at the age of 2, and before long was racing down mountains at 80 miles an hour. She is now the host of Amazon's The Pack (which is like The Amazing Race, if you got rid of all the annoying people and replaced them with adorable dogs.)

Since Vonn is probably used to hearing people yell, "Go, Vonn! Go!" We've invited her to answer three questions about Dutch impressionist Vincent Van Gogh.

Click the audio link above to find out how she does.

MAZ JOBRANI, HOST:

And now the game where people on top of the world spend a little time down here with us. Olympian Lindsey Vonn put on her first pair of skis at the age of 2 and before long was racing down mountains at 80 miles an hour, racking up win after win as one of the world's best downhill skiers. She is now the host of Amazon's "The Pack," which is like "The Amazing Race" if you got rid of all the annoying people and replaced them with adorable dogs.

Lindsey Vonn, welcome to WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME.

(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE SOUND EFFECT)

LINDSEY VONN: Hey, guys. Thanks for having me.

JOBRANI: So, Lindsey, couple of questions. I've been skiing my whole life, and I've never gotten that good.

VONN: (Laughter).

JOBRANI: Now, you started at a young age. So do you remember when you were, like, wow, I'm good at this, and I could be the world champ?

VONN: It wasn't until I was a bit older. I actually was really slow when I was a kid. My coach actually made fun of me and called me a turtle. But it took a while for sure. I wouldn't say that I knew that I was going to be anything good until I was probably 13 or 14 years old.

JOBRANI: So when you realized you were going to be good, did you call that coach and be like, yo, it's turtle. What's up, dude?

(LAUGHTER)

VONN: Ironically, he was my dad's coach, as well. He's from Austria. So he kind of played it like he knew that I was going to be that good. He just, like, said it to kind of antagonize me, so...

JOBRANI: Ah, tough love.

VONN: Yes. Yeah.

JOBRANI: Yeah. So he turned around. He's, like, (imitating Austrian accent) I was trying to push her the whole way.

(LAUGHTER)

JOBRANI: (Imitating Austrian accent) I knew she was going to be very much champion.

VONN: (Imitating Austrian accent) Yeah, I always knew. I always knew you would be.

(LAUGHTER)

FAITH SALIE: Did your coach ever set up, like, a fake rivalry with your dad? Was he, like, (imitating Austrian accent) oh, yeah, your father - he couldn't do this.

VONN: No. It would be, like, (imitating Austrian accent) I knew you would beat your father. If you'd face your father, you would push to beat your father.

It was like that.

(LAUGHTER)

JESSI KLEIN: I love that everyone just went all-in on this accent thing.

JOBRANI: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

KLEIN: But now - and we just agreed that that's what it is.

VONN: If it sounded similar, I would say we're all not very good. But...

(LAUGHTER)

JOBRANI: You know, I watched your documentary on HBO, which I highly recommend. I always say you're inspired by greatness and mediocrity. So when I watch you go down that hill, I'm, like, oh, I'm going to go do that. And then I get on the hill, I'm, like, no, I'm not going to do that.

VONN: (Laughter).

JOBRANI: But there's times when you're going down - what was the fastest you've ever gone - like eighty-something?

VONN: Yeah. I mean, the fastest I've ever been clocked was 84, but I would imagine somewhere a little bit above that.

JOBRANI: Holy moly. So...

KLEIN: I don't think I've ever even been clocked going 84 in my car.

(LAUGHTER)

KLEIN: I have a Prius.

JOBRANI: But, no, so here's my - I've got two questions about going 84 miles an hour. First of all, I've taken falls on ski slopes going, like, 30 miles an hour. And as I'm falling, I'm, like, (imitating slow-motion voice) oh, no.

(LAUGHTER)

VONN: Slow motion.

JOBRANI: You're going 84, and you're trying to win. What's going through your mind...

SALIE: Yeah.

JOBRANI: ...When you've taken a fall at a high speed?

VONN: You try to be like Gumby. You see the fence coming. And I always think, like, I got this, I got this, I got this. And then I don't got it, and I'm literally doing the splits and, you know, tangled in the fence like a fish. But, yeah, you just try to go limp because the more you tense up, the more likely it is you're going to pull something or break something. But it's not fun. I can tell you that. It's really not fun.

I always have the analogy that skiing is like, you know, when you're going fast down the highway, you know, stick your head out the window, that's kind of how it feels when you're skiing. But then if you crash, it's just like you're driving down the highway, and if you jump out of the car.

JOBRANI: Oh, my God. And then you slide for, like, half a mile, but you've just got to go Gumby. You've got to be like Pee-wee Herman. You've got to (singing) do-do-do-do-do-do-do...

VONN: You got to let it go - go with the flow.

JOBRANI: Didn't your dad try to push you to do other sports?

VONN: I mean, I tried a lot of other sports, and I have to say, I was absolutely terrible at all of them. I played soccer, and I - my only goal was against my own team. I tried...

SALIE: (Laughter).

VONN: ...Figure skating. And I liked the outfits a lot, but my dad pulled me out of that after about a month. Tennis - huge failure. Gymnastics - I was too tall since I was, like, 9 years old. So skiing was definitely where I had some talent.

JOBRANI: But it's funny because in a way, it's like you failed your way to a gold medal. You failed at everything else, and you're, like, I'm just going to kill it at skiing.

VONN: Correct. Exactly, right?

(CROSSTALK)

KLEIN: Lindsey and I - I was just going to say, Lindsey and I basically have the exact same trajectory with sports except for I never got to the part where I was a gold medalist.

(LAUGHTER)

KLEIN: I sucked at one after another after another and then also skiing.

(LAUGHTER)

JOBRANI: Now, Lindsey, your new show on Amazon, "The Pack" - OK, so I was - I just got a dog. This is my first time getting a dog.

VONN: Oh, what kind of dog did you get?

JOBRANI: We got a golden doodle. Her name is Yasou (ph), and she's adorable.

VONN: Oh, that's cute.

JOBRANI: Now, you've got Lucy. Lucy's adorable as well. So, first of all, the question is, is this a show you wanted to do? You were just looking for an excuse to hang out with Lucy.

VONN: I mean, it was kind of a great excuse to hang out with Lucy, but I was looking for kind of the next career move after skiing. And I was, like, I get to travel the world with my dog and 12 other dogs. I was, like, that to me is the best-case scenario. So...

JOBRANI: How's it been filming with dogs? Has there been any trouble on set behind the scenes?

VONN: The dogs were the best part of the show. I mean, who doesn't want to watch a labradoodle running in slow motion with, like, rainbow highlights?

(LAUGHTER)

JOBRANI: Well, Lindsey Vonn, we've asked you here today to play a game we're calling...

BILL KURTIS: Go, Vonn, Go.

JOBRANI: You're used to hearing people yell, Vonn, go. But what do you know about Van Gogh...

(LAUGHTER)

JOBRANI: ...As in Vincent Van Gogh? Answer 2 out of 3 questions correctly about the Dutch painter, and you'll win a prize for one of our listeners - the voice of their choice on their voicemail. Bill, who is Lindsey Vonn playing for?

KURTIS: Andrew Campbell (ph) of Richmond, Va.

JOBRANI: All right, Lindsey.

VONN: All right.

JOBRANI: Here's your first question. After Vincent Van Gogh famously cut off his own ear, he painted a portrait of the doctor who treated him and gave the painting to the doctor as a thank you. What did the doctor do with it? A, he printed his name on it, then hung it up on a pole outside his offices like a sign; B, he used it to repair his chicken coop; C, he hung it up in his examination room as a warning to patients to take better care of themselves?

VONN: I mean, all of these sound, like, not logical options.

(LAUGHTER)

JOBRANI: They're not. Well, see - now, you're thinking logical, right? You're thinking - now, this show is not necessarily a logical show.

VONN: I mean, I don't think it's the chicken coop, but I - it could be number one. but I don't know. I'm going to go with number three.

JOBRANI: The truth is it was the chicken coop.

VONN: No way.

(SOUNDBITE OF FOGHORN SOUND EFFECT)

EUGENE CORDERO: Wow.

JOBRANI: This guy hated the painting so much that he used it to repair his chicken coop. Now, the painting today is valued at $50 million.

VONN: That's insane.

CORDERO: Wow.

SALIE: Wait. You mean they reclaimed the painting from the chicken coop? Are you - or it would have been valued at...

VONN: Yeah, how does that work?

JOBRANI: I think some of the paint isn't paint. I think it's just chicken poop.

KLEIN: There you go.

VONN: OK.

JOBRANI: It's just a dead chicken that you hang on your walls.

CORDERO: (Laughter).

VONN: So the name of the game is don't think logically.

CORDERO: (Laughter).

JOBRANI: There you go, Lindsey. You got it right. You go down a hill at 80 miles an hour. You think that's logical? That's not logical.

VONN: Correct.

JOBRANI: All right. Here's your next question. You've still got a chance. You get two of these, this person wins. So the oldest woman who ever lived, who died in 1997 at the age of 122 years old, lived long enough that she actually met Vincent Van Gogh. It's a moment that she remembered her whole life. Why? A, because she couldn't get over how ugly he was; B, because he offered her his other ear, saying, I feel lopsided with just one; or C, because she posed for him, but in the finished painting, there was a guitar on the chair instead of her.

VONN: I mean, I think maybe No. 1.

JOBRANI: You're getting good at this. You're right.

VONN: Yeah.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

VONN: Yes.

(SOUNDBITE OF APPLAUSE SOUND EFFECT)

JOBRANI: She says it's a moment she remembered her whole life because she couldn't get over how ugly he was.

SALIE: (Laughter).

JOBRANI: All right. You're 1 out of 2. Here's your last question, Lindsey Vonn. Though most of Van Gogh's art is worth well into the millions of dollars, bargain hunters can still own a piece of history for the fraction of the price, including which of these which recently sold at auction?

A, for $80,000, a napkin on which Van Gogh doodled a duck with a mustache; B, for $240,000, a letter between Van Gogh and Gauguin describing their brothel visits; or C, for $195,000, a VIP, quote, "Bedroom In Arles" (ph) experience where you get to stay in the actual room from the famous painting and leave with a copy of the painting with yourself added into it.

SALIE: Maz, it's Ahrl (ph).

JOBRANI: Arrl (ph).

(LAUGHTER)

VONN: Well, let's just go with the brothel letter because that seems most interesting.

JOBRANI: You are right, Lindsey Vonn. You're a champion.

(SOUNDBITE OF BELL)

CORDERO: Yeah.

JOBRANI: He paid money for the brothel, and now we pay to get the letter for $240,000.

VONN: (Laughter).

JOBRANI: Bill, how did Lindsey Vonn do in our game?

KURTIS: You know, she won a gold medal there and here.

(LAUGHTER)

KURTIS: So congratulations, Lindsey.

VONN: Thank you (laughter).

JOBRANI: Lindsey Vonn is a world champion skier and the host of Amazon's "The Pack," which you can stream now on Amazon Prime video. Lindsey Vonn, thank you so much for joining us on WAIT WAIT... DON'T TELL ME.

VONN: Thank you, guys. I really appreciate it.

SALIE: Bye, Lindsey. Happy holidays.

KLEIN: Bye, Lindsey.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "SILVER AND GOLD")

BURL IVES: (Singing) Silver and gold, silver and gold, everyone wishes for silver and gold. How do you measure...

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