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Burnsville Minnesota’s Lindsey Vonn won the Laureus World Sportswoman of the Year Award today after her third straight overall World Cup victory in 2009/10. She also won the Olympic Downhill gold medal in Vancouver in February – the first American woman to do so – despite nearly missing the Winter Olympics because of injury.
Just days before the Downhill, she announced she had a shin injury which was giving her considerable pain. Due to poor snow conditions, many of the Alpine skiing events were moved back, giving her additional time to recover. Being a true champion, she made the most of this opportunity and won the gold medal, beating US rival Julia Mancuso by 0.56 seconds.
Lindsey Vonn, who has now become the most successful American women’s skier in World Cup history and the first American to clinch three successive World Cup titles, said: “I want to say thank you so, so much for this award. I am so honored. I honestly never thought I could win something like this. To all my family and fans who supported me over the years, thank you so much. And a special thank you to my husband for always supporting me, you’re the best.”
Laureus World Sports Academy Member Franz Klammer, one of the greatest Downhill skiers of all time, paid tribute to Lindsey Vonn. He said: “Lindsey has been the dominant women’s skier for three years. In 2010 she proved herself to be one of the greatest skiers of all time after another brilliant season. I think Lindsey’s performance in Vancouver was remarkable. These are very challenging events, so to produce the run she did, when you have only one chance to make it happen, to win the gold medal, makes her a real champion. Lindsey is just 26 so who knows what she can achieve over the next few years.”
The Laureus World Sports Awards, which recognize sporting achievement, are the premier honors on the international sporting calendar. The winners, as voted by the Laureus World Sports Academy, the ultimate sports jury, made up of 46 of the greatest sportsmen and sportswomen of all time, were announced at a televised Awards Ceremony staged at the Emirates Palace Hotel in Abu Dhabi hosted by double Oscar winner Kevin Spacey and attended by guests from the worlds of sport and entertainment.