Lindsey Vonn and others honored by U.S. Olympic Committee

Posted By: The Ski Channel on January 26, 2010 9:54 am

Last Friday, the U.S. Olympic Committee gave a great honor to some great winter sport athletes. Alpine skier Lindsey Vonn was named the 2009 USOC SportsWoman of the Year, nordic combined skier Todd Lodwick was honored as SportsMan of the Year and monoskier Stephani Victor was named Paralympic SportsWoman of the Year.

The USOC SportsMan and SportsWoman of the Year awards have been presented annually since 1974 to the top overall male and female athlete from within the USOC member organizations.

“Today we recognize and congratulate the best athletes that the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Movement had to offer in 2009,” said USOC Chief of Sport Performance Mike English, “and it’s only fitting that the biggest stars over the past year will now help lead Team USA into competition in Vancouver beginning three weeks from today. These award recipients stood apart from a distinguished list of nominees both on and off the field of play and their accomplishments provide inspiration and excitement for all Americans.”

Lindsey Vonn is the first U.S. Ski Team athlete to win this award since Picabo Street won it in 1998. “This is a huge honor, especially with the Olympics just a few weeks away,” Vonn said. “This past year has been amazing and because of that, it’s been so cool to see how many people are getting excited about alpine skiing. Regardless of whether I win a race or crash, I get so many notes of encouragement from fans. That says something special about the Olympic spirit. It isn’t something that lives in just the athletes; it also lives in everyone who supports what we love.”

U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association President and CEO Bill Marolt added, “Not only is Lindsey an accomplished World Champion athlete, but she is an amazing role model and motivator for youth. She is a great representative of our sport, our country and the Olympic movement.”

Todd Lodwick has made quite a name for himself having won a pair of gold medals at the 2009 World Championships in Liberec, Czech Republic (making him only the second American to win a nordic combined world title). Todd is the first nordic combined skier to win this award, and the first U.S. Ski Team athlete to win it since Jonny Moseley in 1998.

It’s humbling to be recognized amongst my Olympic peers,” said Lodwick. “I’m especially proud to receive this honor on behalf of my sport. So many people have supported us for so many years that it’s heartwarming to know that our sport and my accomplishments, and those of my teammates, are meaningful.”

“Todd’s return from retirement to win two World Championship gold medals is a story of personal dedication towards a goal,” said Marolt. “But along with his individual accomplishments, he has worked together with his teammates to build a strong nordic combined team for today and the future.”

Stephani Victor won three gold medals and a silver at the 2009 IPC Alpine Skiing World Championships, She added a gold medal in the slalom at the U.S. Adaptive Ski Championships.

“It is a tremendous honor for me to receive this award as I head into my third Paralympic Winter Games,” said Victor. “I’m especially proud to be recognized by the U.S. Olympic Committee, which has also given me the opportunity to be a part of Team for Tomorrow. For me, winning is not just what happens in a race but how you live your life on and off the hill.”

“An accident changed Stephani Victor’s life,” said Marolt, “but she has taken advantage of a new direction in ski racing to achieve high athletic goals and become best in the world in her sport, dominating World Championships last season.”