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Lindsey Vonn takes White Pass skier under wing, on and off the course

One of the greatest skiers of all time helped Jackie Wiles improve her skills, and much more.
Lindsey Vonn and Jackie Wiles, January 15, 2017 in Altenmarkt/Zauchensee, Austria (Photo by Christophe Pallot/Agence Zoom/Getty Images)

Lindsey Vonn is one of the most decorated skiers of all time, with four World Cup overall titles, a record 81 World Cup victories, and the only American woman to win Olympic gold in the downhill.

Now she's helping other skiers succeed.

WATCH: Vonn mentors Wiles

"She was able to help me pursue my dreams, and along the way, I've had a great friend and mentor, and she's been a tremendous role model for me to look up to, and I've learned a lot," said Jackie Wiles, who trained at Washington's White Pass.

Wiles made the 2014 U.S. Olympic team in Sochi. But during the 2015-16 season, Wiles was struggling financially. Traveling and skiing across the world can be a financial burden for a young skier, so Vonn stepped up. Wiles became the first-ever ambassador for the Lindsey Vonn Foundation which supports girls through scholarships, education, and athletics.

"I love what her foundation shows and supporting young girls, and you know establishing confidence within themselves and being the best that they can be and it's been a lotta fun so far, I'm very grateful," Jackie said.

"It originally started with how she can't afford to be on the team, and she needs to find sponsors, and she has to do fundraisers. And I was like, 'This is what the foundation is all about. She's young, and she's hardworking, she's talented, and she's a very caring and genuinely kind person and the kind we want to support," Vonn said.

Vonn not only helped cover Wiles's travel costs, but she also took time to give her advice on becoming a better skier.

"To have the best skier in the world in inspection, helping me off the hill. She took it upon herself to watch my video on her own and see some stuff in my boots that I could change," Wiles said. "She's been incredible."

Vonn and Wiles shared a world cup podium for the first time in their careers in January. Vonn took first, Wiles placed third. It was Wiles' second world cup podium, but Vonn thinks she's just getting started.

"I'm really proud of what she has accomplished, and she definitely has the right attitude and the right motivation, so I think she is going to go far in her career," Vonn said.

"It's so exciting for me to have the support of Lindsey and her foundation. I couldn't ask for anything more, and I'm really blessed to be with her," Wiles said.

Wiles qualified for PyeongChang, but suffered a serious knee injury right before the Games and is not competing. She's been staying at Vonn's home in Colorado while recuperating after surgery.

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