American skier Lindsey Vonn has enjoyed a memorable weekend with a pair of World Cup wins and the announcement of an unprecedented award for a ski racer. On Saturday, Vonn notched her first downhill World Cup victory of the season by winning at Val d’Isere, France. She stood atop the Val d’Isere podium again on Sunday after the super combined. event. Amid her victories, Vonn, 26, learned that she has been named Associated Press Female Athlete of the Year. She is the first male or female skier to win such an honor. NFL player Drew Brees won the AP male athlete award for this year.
“Just being nominated means a lot to me but it’s truly an honor to receive the award, especially knowing all the incredible athletes who have come before me to make sports so amazing for fans,” said Vonn. “Honestly, when I found out, I was pretty speechless.”
Starting with a downhill gold medal and super-G bronze at the Winter Olympics in February, Vonn has elevated the level of exposure for her entire sport. In the same month, Vonn attracted attention off the slopes with an appearance in the annual Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue.
On the World Cup circuit, Vonn captured her third consecutive overall title in March. By winning the super combined on Sunday, she jumped into the overall points lead again for the current season ahead of close friend and rival Maria Riesch of Germany. The super combined win was the 36th World Cup victory of Vonn’s career.
“It was an awesome weekend. I’m really happy,” said Vonn. “It’s always great to have a weekend like this, especially before Christmas. It gives me a lot of confidence going into the New Year.”
(Photo courtesy of U.S. Ski Team/Tom Kelly)