The girl who would become Olympic downhill champion started skiing at the age of three with her father and grandfather on the gentle slopes of Minnesota. Little Lindsey competed in her first races at the age of seven, and when she was nine she took part in her first international competitions. Subsequently, world junior championships, world cups and her first good results opened the doors to being selected for the USA team for the 2002 Games.
In Salt Lake City, she finished sixth in the combined and 32nd in the slalom. Two years later, Lindsey asserted herself in the “cirque blanc”, stepping onto the downhill podium for the first time. The following season, the bubbly young woman obtained her first victory in the first downhill. A specialist in speed events, she also won her first points in the technical events, enabling her to aim for the World Cup general rankings.
In Turin in 2006, she had a bad fall during a training run and ended up in hospital. Despite the pain, she still managed to finish eighth in the Olympic downhill, seventh in the Super G and 14th in the slalom. In 2007, after two world silver medals, she was injured in the slalom and ended her season. Now called Lindsey Vonn, after marrying an Olympic skier, she came back stronger than before, dominating the World Cup general rankings in 2008 and 2009, as well as the World Championships in 2009, with two titles, in downhill and Super G.
The year 2010 also promised to be auspicious, with five consecutive victories in downhill, alongside four other victories in Super G and combined. But misfortune struck! A week before the Vancouver Games, a fall injured Lindsey Vonn’s tibia and stopped her in her tracks. But she knew how to cope with it, and had no intention of leaving Canada without a medal. The postponement of the races because of bad weather allowed her to recover, and, on 17 February, she confidently launched herself through the starting gate for the downhill. On the very technical Franz’s Run course, she flaunted all her talent. This time, she did it – she became Olympic champion. The 2010 season ended on a high note, with her winning her third Crystal Globe in the general rankings.