Lindsey Vonn, alpine skiing's poster girl, is as ruthless, brilliant and successful as they come in the competitive world of alpine racing.
Hailing from Saint Paul, Minnesota, Lindsey set her sights on becoming a world-class skier after meeting her childhood hero Picabo Street at the age of nine. By age 18, she'd won three World Cup downhill titles and looked set for an Olympic Gold. But disaster struck when she crashed in practice and was forced to bow out. That setback only strengthened Lindsey's resolve. The next year she won silver in downhill and Super G at the World Championships, and in 2008 she won both the overall and downhill World Cup titles.
Since then there's been an avalanche of triumphs: in 2009, she became the first American woman to claim back-to-back championships. 2010 brought her Olympic downhill gold at the 2010 Vancouver Games (again the first American woman to do so). She also took the World Cup title and a Laureus World Sports Award for Sportswoman of the Year. In 2011, Lindsey took the downhill, combined and Super G titles, narrowly missing out on the overall World Cup title.
In 2012, thanks to her first giant slalom win, she became the eighth woman to join the all-event winners’ circle.
The 2012–13 season was full of ups and downs due to illness, starting with a high in the shape of her third career hat-trick and second place in the all-time women’s standings, but despite claiming the World Cup downhill title, an injury put an abrupt end to the season in February 2013.
After undergoing surgery, she made a fantastic comeback in December 2013, but in early January 2014 Lindsey had to take the difficult decision to pull out of the Sochi Winter Olympics after a racing injury in Val d'Isère, France at the end of 2013 meant it wouldn’t be safe for her to ski. After surgery her focus was to work hard on her rehab to make it to the 2015 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships at her home in Vail/Beaver Creek (Colorado) and the World Cup season.
She did make it, and in January 2015 she beat Austrian Annemarie Moser-Pröll's 35-year-old record when she won her 63rd World Cup victory. She followed this up in January 2016 in Cortina D'Ampezzo, Italy by taking her 37th downhill victory, beating Möser-Proll's all-time downhill record of 36 victories in men's and women's skiing.