Lindsey Vonn, U. S. Olympian
Known as one of the most successful female ski racers in American history, Lindsey Vonn is one of the few world-class, five-event ski racers. She is the only American woman to have won two World Cup overall titles. Vonn captured both a gold and a bronze medal in the 2010 Winter Olympiad in Vancouver.
Creative Commons photo courtesy Wikipedia/Christian Jansky
Creative Commons photo courtesy Wikipedia/CÃ©sar
In 1999, Vonn became the first American to win at Italy's Trofeo Topolino (for skiers of 11-14 age) where she was victorious in slalom. After climbing through the ranks of the U.S. Ski Team, she made her World Cup debut at age 16 on November 18, 2000 in Park City.
In her Olympic debut at the 2002 Winter Olympics, Vonn raced in both slalom and combined in Salt Lake City, with her best result coming with sixth in combined. On March 4, 2003 she earned a silver medal in downhill in the Junior World Championship at Puy St. Vincent, France.
On March 24, 2004, Vonn was the downhill silver medalist at the U.S. Alpine Championships held in Jackson, Wyoming. In December of the same year Vonn climbed onto the World Cup podium for the first time in her career after claiming the downhill victory in Lake Louise, Alberta. She would go on to capture five more World Cup podiums over the next two months. For her December 17, 2005 downhill victory in Val d'Isere she chose to accept a cow from French cheese farmers as a prize.
Lindsey Vonn during a slalom race in Aspen in November 2006.In 2005, she competed in four races at her first World Championships held in Bormio, Italy, pulling in fourth place finishes in both the downhill and the combined. She was also ninth in Super-G, but failed to finish the giant slalom.
In her second Winter Olympics in 2006, while training for the downhill race on February 13, 2006 in San Sicario, Italy, Vonn crashed and was evacuated by helicopter to Torino, where she was hospitalized overnight. Despite a bruised hip, she returned the following day to compete and finished eighth. The gritty performance earned her the U.S. Olympic Spirit Award, as voted by American fans, fellow Team USA athletes, former U.S. Olympians, and members of the media for best representing the Olympic Spirit.
Vonn earned her first "big race" medals with silver in both downhill and Super-G at the 2007 World Championships in Ãre, Sweden. A training crash before the slalom caused her a low-level ACL sprain to her right knee, ending her season four weeks early. Nevertheless, she finished third for the season in the women's 2007 World Cup disciplines of downhill and Super G.
In 2008, Lindsey Vonn won the overall World Cup title. She became only the second American woman to do so, following Tamara McKinney in 1983. American Bode Miller won the men's title to complete the first U.S. sweep of the men's and women's overall titles in 25 years (McKinney and Phil Mahre in 1983). She also won the World Cup season title in the downhill and the U.S. Alpine Championships combined (downhill & slalom) title, marking her best ski season to date. Vonn also established a new all-time record for most downhill victories by an American with ten, winning at Crans-Montana, Switzerland, on March 8.
In 2009, Vonn repeated as overall World Cup champion, as well as repeating as champion in the downhill and also winning the season championship in Super G by winning the final race of the season. During the season, she broke Tamara McKinney's American record of 18 World Cup victories when she won the Super G at Tarvisio in February. Her nine World Cup wins also set an American single-season record, surpassing Phil Mahre's total of eight in 1982. At the 2009 World Championships in Val d'Isere, France, Vonn won her first world championship and became the first American woman to win the world Super-G title. In the super combined event, she won the downhill portion and had appeared to have finished second in the event with a strong slalom performance, but was disqualified for splitting a gate. Three days later she won the gold in the Downhill. During early 2009, she appeared in Alka-Seltzer television commercials in the United States as support for the United States Ski Team. During the summer of 2009, Vonn switched her equipment sponsor and supplier to Head skis, after previously racing her entire career on Rossignol skis.
In December 2009, Vonn sustained a bruised arm after a large crash during the opening run of the World Cup giant slalom. She continued racing as there was no fracture that would prevent her return and run at the Olympic Games in Vancouver. Despite skiing with her arm in a brace due to the injury, Vonn won three straight races (two downhills and a Super G) in Haus im Ennstal, Austria from January 8-10, 2010. The wins raised her to second among American skiers on the all-time career list for World Cup wins with 28, passing Phil Mahre (27 wins) and trailing only Bode Miller (31 wins). On January 14, 2010, Lindsey Vonn was named Colorado Athlete of the Year for 2009.
Lindsey Vonn's Vancouver 2010 Olympic results
Date------ Round------ Result
02/26 Women's Slalom DNF
02/26 Women's Slalom 1st Run DNF
02/25 Women's Giant Slalom DNF
02/24 Women's Giant Slalom 1st Run DNF
02/20 Women's Super-G 1:20.88 (3rd-Bronze Medal)
02/18 Women's Super Combined DNF
02/18 Women's Super Combined Slalom DNF
02/18 Women's Super Combined Downhill 1:24.16 (1st)
02/17 Women's Downhill 1:44.19 (1st-Gold Medal)
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