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Known as the most successful female ski racer in American history - and quickly gaining on "all time" status - Lindsey Vonn is one of the few world-class, four-event ski racers. She is the only American woman to ever capture downhill gold at the Olympics and the only American woman with four World Cup overall titles. Six weeks after she turned 20, Vonn (then Kildow) produced her first World Cup victory in Lake Louise, Alberta. She has since captured a U.S. record 59 World Cup wins. In addition to her 2010 Olympic downhill gold and super G bronze, she holds five World Championship medals, including double gold in 2009.

A horrific crash at the February 2013 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships left Vonn with a torn ACL/MCL, fractured tibial plateau and a whole lot of motivation to come back to the sport strong. It was the kind of motivation that put her back on snow in Portillo, Chile at the end of August, a full month and a half ahead of schedule. All signs were pointing to go, and Vonn was on track when a mid-November downhill training crash at Copper Mountain resulted in a major setback.

Determined to compete in the 2014 Olympics, Vonn pushed on. She returned to training a few weeks later and was back in the start gate in early December in Lake Louise, where she placed a promising fifth in the super G. She cruised into the next race series at Val d’Isere, France feeling strong, but her knee was rocked after hitting a big hole in the downhill. She then wisely called it a season so she could set her sights on the healing process and be in the best shape of her life for the 2015 season, when the World Championships will be hosted on her home snow of Vail/Beaver Creek.

Copper was a really bad crash. Either way, it (the ACL) would have been gone. It was pretty gnarly. It was a perfectly sunny day, but the course kind of dropped into this hole where it was completely in the shade and the snow changed; it was soft and broken up and my ski just caught. I pretty much did the splits and completely maxed out my right knee. I went face-first into the nets.

At first I was extremely upset. I didn't know what to do. Then I tried to regroup and figure out a plan. How can I make this work? How can I keep skiing? We tried to come up with a good plan, so I still had hope, a glimmer of hope. I never gave up hope all the way up until the day I decided I couldn’t do it anymore.

Having not raced in Sochi…that totally changed everything. Barring anything bad happening, I'm committed to another four years. Even if I do well next year at the World Championships, I want to be able to have an opportunity to defend my gold medal.

Growing up in the Twin Cities area (in Burnsville), Vonn was on skis at two before moving into Erich Sailer's renowned program at Buck Hill. She commuted to Vail for a couple of years before the Kildow family moved to Vail in the late Nineties. En route to the World Cup, she excelled at every level: Junior Olympics, Trofeo Topolino, Whistler Cup (kids 11-14), Junior Worlds, NorAms and Europa Cup.

Vonn is a media mogul. From her roots in small town Minnesota, she has become a regular on "Most Marketable" athlete lists. It's no wonder major companies have picked her up for national television commercials. She played a major role in NBC’s Today Show coverage of the Sochi Olympics by hosting her own segments and providing analysis from the NYC studios. Grab any major magazine and she's probably been in it–Glamour, Women's Health and People to name a few. Or on the cover–Fitness, Sports Illustrated, ESPN, TV Guide to name a few more.

Out of her ski boots, Vonn swings a mean tennis racquet and golf club. After recording a hole-in-one during one of her first full 18 holes, Vonn is now a staple at charity tournaments. But if you ask her about her favorite thing to do beside ski, she'll tell you it's all about spending time with her family and new pooch, Leo (Instagram: LeoVonn).



OLYMPICS (top 15)
Teams: 2002, 2006, 2010
Gold, DH, Vancouver, CAN, 2010
Bronze, SG, Vancouver, CAN, 2010
6th, Combined, Snowbasin, UT, 2002
7th, SG, Torino, ITA, 2006
8th, DH, Torino, ITA, 2006
14th, SL, Torino, ITA, 2006

Teams: 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013
Gold, DH, Val d'Isere, FRA, 2009
Gold, SG, Val d'Isere, FRA, 2009
Silver, DH, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, GER, 2011
Silver, DH, Are, Sweden, 2007
Silver, SG, Are, Sweden, 2007
4th, DH, Santa Caterina, ITA, 2005
4th, Combined, Santa Caterina, ITA, 2005
9th, SG, Santa Caterina, ITA, 2005

WORLD CUP (highlights)
Four-time overall champion (2008, 2009, 2010, 2012)
Six-time downhill champion (2008-2013)
Four-time super G champion (2009-2012)
Three-time super combined champion (2010-2012)
Women's season-long point record of 1,980 set in 2012
American record for victories (59 as of Sept. 2013)
American single season victory record (12, 2012)
Has won in all five World Cup disciplines

2009, SL, Alyeska, AK
2008, Combined, Sugarloaf, ME
2004, SL, Sugarloaf, ME
2004, SG, Sugarloaf, ME
2003, Combined, Whiteface, NY

2012 Beck International Award – USSA top annual honor
2012 USSA Alpine Athlete of the Year
2011 ESPY for Best Female Athlete
2011 Laureus World Sport Award
2011 Nickelodeon Kids Choice Award for Favorite Female Athlete
2011 Preis Herbert Award
2010 Glamour Magazine Woman of the Year
2010 ESPYS for Best Female Athlete and Best Female Olympic Athlete
2010 Beck International Award Winner
2010 USOC Athlete of the Year
2009 Colorado Athlete of the Year
2009 Minneapolis Star Tribune Athlete of the Year
Three-time Junior Worlds medalist
1999 SL winner at Topolino, Italy children's races