“ ‘Matt, I would like to keep my personal life private,’ ” is how NBC’s Matt Lauer characterized what Olympic gold medal skier Lindsey Vonn told him.

Lauer said he respected the position and didn’t push regarding headlines that Minnesota’s Vonn is secretly dating another professional athlete, Tiger Woods.

In her first interview since tearing her ACL and MCL at the super-G World Championships in Austria earlier this month, Vonn got cocky with the “Today Show” anchor when he sounded doubtful that she could recover from this injury and just show up in Sochi, Russia to ski again in the Olympics.

“Says who?” Vonn said to Lauer.

Asked when she will have to get back on the slopes to be ready for the Olympics, Vonn said: “In a worst case scenario if I trained a week before the games, I’d be fine.”

Vonn hopes to get back on the slopes in November and race some in December of this year and not a week before the Sochi Olympics, said Lauer. The 2014 Winter Sochi Olympics are in February.

As for whether there will be a Tiger providing support during Vonn’s rehab, the skier didn’t make that seem out of the question.

I’m-keeping-my-personal-life-private isn’t exactly like saying There’s nothing to the speculation.

And I’m-keeping-my-personal-life-private is a few links away from what Vonn told a local TV reporter who was gently trying to get a Tiger tidbit. Before the fall that caused her serious injury, this reporter asked if Woods would be arriving in Austria: “Oh my God, I don’t know. You should ask him.” Smiles and giggles from Vonn reportedly ensued in response to a follow-up question.

One version of events as to how Vonn and Woods first came into the other’s sphere is that her brother was giving ski lessons in Vail to Woods’ children with his ex-wife Elin Nordegren.

Before speculation of a Woods-Vonn romance, she was in Minnesota visiting family and reportedly checking out NBA player Kris Humphries. Vonn’s time with Humphries reportedly occurred early last summer; my information is that Humphries wasn’t much interested in this diversion. Humphries is in a legal fight for an annulment to a 72 day marriage. Vonn’s divorce from her former coach Thomas Vonn, was finalized in either December or January.

We know that Vonn is Woods’ type. In addition to that, they are both private with Woods being more pathologically so, although Vonn’s maybe showing an aptitude for that zone.

Woods also knows something about rehabbing from a knee injury. He underwent such rehab in 2008 during which he was also engaged in a lot of the infidelity foolishness that lead to his divorce.


C.J. can be reached at cj@startribune.com and seen on the FOX 9”Buzz.”