Vail’s Vonn 2010 USOC Sportswoman of the Year
PARK CITY, Utah – Olympic champion Lindsey Vonn has been named the U.S. Olympic Committee’s Sportswoman of the Year for 2010, marking the second consecutive year Vonn has earned the USOC’s most prestigious honor. The award has been presented annually to the top overall male and female athletes from within the USOC member organizations since 1974.Vonn was nominated for the award by the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association, along with fellow Olympic champion Bode Miller, who capped a stunning Olympics with gold in the super combined, and the U.S. Nordic Combined Ski Team that skied to silver in Vancouver, British Columbia. The USSA also nominated two-time Olympic halfpipe champion Shaun White, along with 2010 silver medalist and 2006 champion Hannah Teter.The 2010 Olympic season saw Vonn become the first American woman to win an Olympic gold medal in downhill. She then added a second medal with bronze in super-G and went on to produce a record-breaking season on the Audi FIS Alpine World Cup tour.”The 2010 Olympic season was incredible, but what made it so special is that I was able to share it with so many American fans,” said Vonn, who won two super-G races last weekend in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy, and will race this weekend in the Olympic Village of Sestriere. “It was amazing to see the support and excitement they showed for ski racing, and that’s definitely carried into this winter. It means so much to the athletes to hear from them. Win or crash, they keep us excited to compete.”Her American record 11 World Cup wins in 2010propelled Vonn to a third consecutive overall title, third straight downhill title, second super-G title and the seasonlong crown for super combined to close the season as the most successful alpine skier in American history.Her performances also earned her ESPY awards for both “Best Female Athlete” and “Best Female U.S. Olympic Athlete,” which boosted Vonn into a major name in sports and popular culture.Post-Vancouver, she guest starred in an episode of “Law & Order,” presented at the Academy of Country Music Awards and snapped photos with Morgan Freeman, Betty White and Katie Couric at the White House Correspondents’ Association Dinner.She shook hands with Oprah Winfrey; Patrick Robinson, of the Gap; and Anna Wintour, editor-in-chief of Vogue, at the 2010 Met Costume Institute Gala and Exhibition and appeared on the cover of the ESPN The Magazine movie issue, adding to the pair of Sports Illustrated cover photos she earned during the Olympics.”These opportunities are absolutely incredible and certainly wouldn’t have been possible for me without skiing,” Vonn said. “My goal has always been to make the most of every opportunity to help promote the sport I love so much, especially to little kids.”Vonn is the first woman since track and field legend Jackie Joyner Kersee (1986-87) to win the award back to back. The last female alpine skier to achieve the honor was Vonn’s childhood hero Picabo Street in 1998.