Lindsey Vonn’s mother, Linda Lindy Anne Lund, has died one year after being diagnosed with ALS.
In a statement shared with PEOPLE on Saturday, a rep for the 37-year-old Olympic gold medalist confirmed the news. “Lindsey Vonn’s mother, Lindy Anne Lund, passed away Thursday night from ALS, exactly one year to the day of her diagnosis,” the statement said. “ALS is a devastating disease and one that has not yet found a cure.”
The statement added that Vonn “was incredibly grateful for the time she spent with her since the diagnosis and to be there by her side at her passing. In honor of her mother’s relentless fighting spirit, Lindsey is dedicated to learning more and helping bring additional awareness to this deadly disease.” Donations in Lund’s honor are encouraged through a GoFundMe page.
The athlete also went to Instagram on Saturday to share a gallery of photos and a touching tribute to her mother. “My sweet mother Lindy has lost her battle with ALS,” she wrote. “She passed away peacefully as I held her hand.”
The Olympian continued, “I am so grateful for every moment I had with her, but I am also thankful that she is no longer suffering and in peace. She was a shining light that will never fade, and I will forever be inspired by her.”
Photos in the carousel showed the mother-daughter duo throughout the years, from sweet throwbacks of Vonn as a child to more recent pictures of both of them.
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Also in the tribute, Vonn posted an excerpt from her memoir, which she described as “unfortunately fitting.”
“This book is dedicated to my mother,” read the excerpt. “She is my inspiration not because of what she did for my skiing career, but how her perpetual positivity shaped me into the person I am on, and most importantly, off the slopes. Every adversity I have faced, I found perspective and inspiration from her. Throughout the many hardships in her life, they only made her stronger, kinder, and more humble. That type of grit is what shaped me since I was a child; whether I knew it then or not, I know it now.”
Vonn ended her message by talking to her mother directly: “Mom, I hope I am one day as tough as you are. I hope I will approach every day with as much energy and optimism as you do. I hope I will one day raise my kids to be as incredible as you are. I love you.”
Vonn also posted a recent picture of her and her mother on her Instagram Story, writing “My beautiful mother is in heaven now.”
ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a neurodegenerative disease with no cure that destroys nerve cells. When the motor neurons are destroyed, the brain can no longer initiate and control muscle movement, which can lead to people losing the ability to speak, eat, move and breathe, the ALS Association detailed. The mean survival time for the disease is five years.
In July, the athlete celebrated her mother’s strength a year after her initial diagnosis on Instagram.
“Since having a stroke while giving birth to me, my Mom has been the picture of strength and more specifically, resilience,” the four-time Olympic skier wrote alongside a gallery of pictures of them. “She has always given me the will to keep fighting back whenever I had an injury or obstacle in skiing and in life. Now she is exuding that resilience more than ever before.”
Vonn also acknowledged her mother’s complicated condition. “There are good days and there are bad days but every day we have with her is a great day,” she said. “My family has all come together to help her, which has been a testament to the person and mother she is.”
She also noted that though the family had been keeping her condition private, her mom wanted to show her life to raise awareness. “I will do my best to honor her and raise awareness for ALS,” Vonn wrote, “We love you Mom, and we celebrate you every day.”
A month earlier, Vonn dedicated her U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Hall of Fame induction to her mother, TODAY reported.
“But mainly I would like to dedicate this to my mother,” Vonn said, holding back emotion. “She’s having her own battle right now with ALS. She’s taught me so much about strength and character, and it’s because of the example that my mother set that I was able to overcome whatever obstacle was thrown at me. Thank you, Mom.”