updated 08/29/2013 AT 11:25 AM ET
•originally published 08/29/2013 AT 1:15 PM ET
In the three-and-a-half years since Lindsey Vonn took home gold at the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Games, life’s been eventful, to say the least – with America’s most-decorated alpine skier skillfully enduring both ups and downs.
For starters last February, Vonn shattered her right knee in a devastating crash during a World Cup race in Austria, then spent seven grueling months rehabbing it – and assures PEOPLE she’ll be ready for the 2014 Sochi Games.
But perhaps her most dramatic journey has taken place off the slopes.
“From a personal standpoint, everything in my life has changed. It’s a complete 180 in a short period of time,” Vonn tells PEOPLE while on a workout break at a gym in her Vail, Colo., home base.
“I went from being married to living on my own in L.A., to having a new boyfriend and just being totally self-sufficient and super independent,” she adds. “It’s awesome. I love it!”
“There’s really nothing about him that bothers me,” she says, adding with a laugh: “He doesn’t even leave the seat up! It’s awesome.”