At age three, Lindsey Vonn put on a pair of skis at a local mountain in Minnesota for the first time and she has been making a name for herself ever since as an elite member of the U.S. Ski Team.
She began racing at age seven and by nine she was competiting in international events. At the age of 14 she became the only American female to win the Trofeo Topolino contest in Italy. In her first year of top-level competition, 15-year-old Vonn placed in numerous NorAm events. At the age of 18, Vonn raced in both slalom and combined in her Olympic debut, with her best result placing her sixth in slalom.
Vonn climbed up onto the World Cup podium for the first time in her career at the age of 20. A year later she attended the World Championships in Italy, taking fourth place finishes in both downhill and combined and a ninth place finish in Super G. She finished the season ranked sixth overall in the world.
At age 22, Vonn was set to compete in her second Olympic Games as a top hopeful for the Womens U.S. Ski Team. Unfortunately, this would not be her year. During a training session, Vonn crashed and was evacuated by helicopter to a local hospital. Vonn returned to the Games, despite a bruised hip, and finished eighth in Downhill, seventh in Super G, and fourteenth in Slalom.
Later that year, Vonn won silver in both downhill and Super G at the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in Are, Sweden. She also finished third in the womens 2007 World Cup Downhill and Super G before a knee injury ended her season early.
This past season, 23-year-old Vonn returned to the slopes ready to make history and that is exactly what she did. Her latest Downhill win in Crans-Montana, Switzerland last Saturday, made her the most succesful American in Downhill history and set a new record for World Cup Downhill victories by a U.S. skier with ten. The previous record was held by Picabo Street in 1996 and Daron Rahives in 2006.
Furthermore, Vonn just recently captured the overall World Cup title in Bormio, Italy. Fellow American, Bode Miller, took the title for the men. The last time Americans won both the mens and womens overall titles in the same year was in 1983.
It was a very successful season for Vonn and we should expect to see many more victories and possibly some more historical moments as she continues to represent the U.S. Ski Team.
For more information about Lindsay Vonn check out the Official Lindsay Vonn Website.