In the last decade, we've seen a lot of Lindsey Vonn. Three Olympic Games, including a gold medal in the 2010 downhill in Vancouver. Five world championship medals, including two golds in 2009. Three consecutive World Cup overall titles (2008, '09, '10) and 45 career victories, by far the most of any U.S. ski racer of either gender. She has been photographed in ski suits and swimsuits (SI, 2010); she has walked red carpets and sold Red Bull. She appeared in a 2010 episode of her beloved Law & Order, and not as herself. In the small world of ski racing, she stands very large.
As I look at my kids' bookshelves, I can't help thinking, "Wow! What a lot of trophies!" I didn't realize my daughters were apparently faster than Lindsey Vonn, stronger than Serena Williams and more limber than Michelle Kwan.
With fresh silver in her pocket from another major competition, Lindsey Vonn has decided to pull out of the World Alpine Ski Championships in Garmisch, Germany. The Olympic gold medalist is still suffering from post-concussion effects after a training fall in Austria a week earlier. Vonn underwent a head scan and subsequent concussion protocols during the week, but was allowed to continue and chose to ski even though she confessed to "skiing in a fog." She placed seventh in the Super G, withdrew from the downhill part of the combined and then on Sunday won a silver in the downhill, the event in which she is the Olympic champion. She has not ruled out a return to competition for the remaining four sites on the tour.
The USOC announced its athletes of the year on Tuesday morning, not surprisingly tapping stars from the Vancouver Olympics as honorees. Figure skater Evan Lysacek was named Sportsman of the Year, outlasting snowboarder Shaun White, history-making speed skater Apolo Ohno and rejuvenated alpine whiz Bode Miller. Lysacek won a nail-biting men's title in Vancouver against Russia's Evgeny Plushenko in a battle of contrasting styles.
Here are some of the most outstanding female athletes of the year in Olympic sports, listed in alphabetical order with a nod to the Korean and Chinese whose family names appear first. Next week, we'll look at some of the top males.
So much for the idea that Lindsey Vonn and the rest of the U.S. ski team would have a down season in the post-Olympic year. Vonn and fellow Olympic champ Ted Ligety both earned decisive victories in World Cup events as the Cup tour made its annual fall pass through North America. Vonn captured the Super G race in Lake Louise, Alberta on Sunday, while Ligety won the giant slalom event on the Birds of Prey course in Beaver Creek, Colo. It marked the first time since 2006 that two U.S. alpine skiers had won World Cup events on the same day.
"I'm just doing fun things now. No workouts, no training," the Olympic medalist says
• Not only will they be compared for their ability to host Olympic Games and to make tea, but Beijing and London will go head-to-head for the right to stage the IAAF world championships in Track & Field for 2015. If Beijing wins, the championships will be held at the acclaimed Birds' Nest stadium that hosted track at the 2008 Games. If London wins, the events would be held at the Olympic Stadium being built for the 2012 Olympics.
Lindsey Vonn's Olympics come to an end. Alex Thomas wraps up Friday's competition.
WHISTLER, British Columbia -- As massive, wet snowflakes fell on the Creekside alpine racing stadium Friday afternoon, Lindsey Vonn worked an adoring crowd. Autographs here, photos there, always a smile. The hood was pulled up on her white, U.S. Ski team jacket and a hat was yanked down to the top of her eyebrows, but there was no mistaking who was beneath the down and wool. You cannot cover up stardom.
WHISTLER, British Columbia -- Measure these odds: Julia Mancuso is prepared to push out of the start house in the first of two runs of the Olympic giant slalom on Wednesday morning. She is skier No. 18, and at this point in the competition -- bib numbers 16 through 30 -- the racers are sent off every 60 seconds, a shorter interval than originally planned, to hurry the race in bad weather. For the fastest racers, the run takes a little more than 1:15. This means that when one skier is approaching the final pitch of the course, another is starting. Two racers on course at the same time.
WHISTLER, B.C. -- For the first time in a week, it was snowing Tuesday afternoon in the mountains around Whistler. At least it was trying to snow, as dense, wet flakes turned occasionally to rain and then back again to snow, soaking spectators who were leaving the alpine racing stadium after Carlo Janka's victory for Switzerland in the men's giant slalom. It was a return to the conditions that had postponed the start of ski racing for two days at the beginning of the Games, but it was something else, too: Mancuso Weather.
Apolo Anton Ohno becomes the most decorated American Winter Olympian. Alex Thomas reports.
Winning gold could mean even more money for the Winter Olympics' superstar athletes. Of the top earners, experts say Lindsey Vonn, Shaun White and Bode Miller stand to gain the most.
Evan Lysacek wins skating gold, Julia Mancuso takes skiing silver. CNN's Alex Thomas reports.
WHISTLER, B.C. -- The truth? It's tempting to say that we - those of us disseminate our words through magazines, websites, newspapers and television -- missed on Julia Mancuso. That we spent the better part of a year hyping Lindsey Vonn as the star-in-waiting of the 2010 Olympics and cruelly overlooked Mancuso, whose giant slalom gold from Turin in 2006 gave her one more Olympic medal than Vonn had won in two trips to the Games.
Vonn, White and Davis all win gold for the U.S. in Vancouver. CNN's Alex Thomas reports.
Tiger Woods's agent says the golfer will make a statement Friday to discuss his past and future and plans to apologize.
Tiger Woods: He may be the greatest golfer now -- or ever. According to tigerwoods.com, Woods "has had an unprecedented career since becoming a professional golfer in the late summer of 1996. He has won 95 tournaments, 71 of those on the PGA Tour." This prowess made him one of the planet's most admired and wealthiest athletes. The Web site reports, "Tiger increased his record total on the PGA Tour career money list to $92,862,539, through 2009, and had won $111,433,044 worldwide."
The skiing champ proves that her injured shin won't get in the way of her dreams
Eight months before the Vancouver Games, Lindsey Vonn skis the Olympic downhill in her mind. She is in a subterranean workout room at the Red Bull soccer club's training center in Salzburg, Austria, balanced with each foot on a nylon slack line suspended three feet off the pebbled orange rubber floor. She is crouched in an aerodynamic tuck, her hands thrust out in front of her chin. Trainer Oliver Saringer speaks gently into her right ear: You're on the downhill course at Whistler .... Vonn closes her eyes and begins shifting her weight rhythmically from one foot to the other as if executing high-speed turns on a Canadian mountainside more than 5,000 miles away.
Mark the day February 17, 2010 in an Olympic history book. Then hold it up as a benchmark for future days, because it may well have been the single greatest day the U.S. Olympic team has ever had at a Winter Olympics. No, there was no Miracle on Ice, and Eric Heiden didn't win a jillion gold medals, but here is the case: Never before has a U.S. team won six medals in a single day at the Winter Games. No other country has ever won more than six. At the 1988 Calgary Olympics, the last time a Winter Games took place in Canada, the United States won six medals over the duration of the entire Olympics.
The goal became so overwhelming for Lindsey Vonn. It started on a tiny, little bump of a ski area in Minnesota when she was two years old. It got bigger when she traveled with her entire family to the mountains of Colorado when she was a teenager, and all around the globe in the major leagues of ski racing, where she became clean and fast in a way that precious few racers ever do.
VANCOUVER -- "Four years ago, Lindsey Vonn limped to the start of the Olympic downhill in the mountains north of Turin, Italy, deeply in pain from a terrifying training crash that left her lower back and hip bruised and sore. She was a shell of the dynamic racer who was a threat to medal in the race (or win it), but she skied anyway, and finished a game but disappointed eighth."
WHISTLER, British Columbia -- Four years ago, Lindsey Vonn limped to the start of the Olympic Downhill in the mountains north of Turin, Italy, deeply in pain from a terrifying training crash that left her lower back and hip bruised and sore. She was a shell of the dynamic racer who was a threat to medal in the race (or win it), but she skied anyway, and finished a game but disappointed eighth.
Skier Lindsey Vonn is using an Austrian cheese to help heal the shin injury she suffered while at the Winter Games.
Some turn to prayer. Others turn to state-of-the-art medicine. Lindsey Vonn turned to the power of fromage.
WHISTLER, B.C. -- Late Sunday morning Lindsey Vonn went with her husband, Thomas, to a slushy training hill near the Olympic competition course 75 miles north of Vancouver. She made a few tentative turns and then launched into her first heavy training session on skis since suffering a severe shin injury on Feb. 2 that imperiled her participation in the 2010 Olympic Games.
From the weather (too warm!) to the romance (skaters in love!), here's a PEOPLE guide to the Games
VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- So much for the archetype of the quiet and reserved Canadian. On the eve of the Vancouver Games, which will see 5,500 athletes from 82 countries compete for 258 medals, this city is overflowing with boosterism, positivism and optimism. Its rainy streets are filled with flapping Maple Leafs as well as a flapping Canadian media crowing about Team Canada's chances for medal success.
WHISTLER, British Columbia -- Alpine skiers are great waiters. Not that kind of waiter (although sometimes that kind, too, because if you're not at the highest level of the sport, like Lindsey Vonn and Bode Miller, you sometimes need another job, too; but that's a different discussion). Waiters. As in: They are very experienced at waiting.
SI.com's writers will preview each event from the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. Here's Tim Layden's look ahead to Alpine skiing.
WHISTLER, British Columbia -- At just before noon on Thursday, Thomas Vonn was sitting in a mountainside media center talking to two reporters, waiting out a snow delay in what would be the first official Olympic training session for his wife, Lindsey. A voice crackled from Vonn's portable radio, the type that ski racing coaches wear to communicate from various points on and around the mountains.
WHISTLER, British Columbia -- Look at it this way: Ski racers are generally injured so often that half their careers are spent in some combination of pain-management and rehabilitation. And even by those standards Lindsey Vonn is an outlier, with a long and colorful medical history that has alternately compromised her career and elevated her personal mythology. She has a scar somewhere to match every title she's won.
It has been a year of unique moments for Lindsey Vonn. She met Roger Federer at Wimbledon. She spent a day on the set of her beloved Law & Order (although she has not yet fulfilled her goal of playing a corpse on the show). She walked the red carpet at the Emmys. (All of this in addition to becoming the best U.S. women's ski racer in history, which is her day job).
American skier Lindsey Vonn, one of the potential stars of the 2010 Winter Olympics, told her nearly 35,000 Twitter followers that she would not be posting to the social network until after the Games were over, perhaps based on a faulty understanding of the International Olympic Committee's rules on blogging and social networking.
The snowboarding community and the sports world at large have rallied around Kevin Pearce, the 22-year-old Olympic hopeful from Norwich, Vt. who suffered a brain injury during a practice run on the halfpipe last week in Utah and remains in critical condition. As of Tuesday morning, more than 14,000 people signed on to the Facebook group Well Wishes to Our Friend Kevin Pearce. The site has received notes of support from fans and fellow snowboarders, but also from many survivors of traumatic brain injuries who have described the productive lives they now lead.
She's up. She's down. She's up again. The roller coaster ride that is Lindsey Vonn's season rose to its apex again over the weekend, when the defending overall World Cup champion swept three speed races in Haus im Enstal, Austria. Vonn won downhills on Friday and Saturday and captured a Super-G race on Sunday, easing fears that a damaged left arm she'd hurt in a fall last month would impair her Olympic ambitions. The victories boosted her lead in this season's World Cup standings to a robust 192 points ahead of Germany's Maria Riesch.
Even though he has never won a World Cup race, biathlete Tim Burke achieved a major breakthrough when he took the lead in the points standings and earned the right to wear the yellow jersey when the season resumes. The honor is similar to the one bestowed on the leader of the Tour de France as the cyclists progress through the stages of the race. No man from the U.S. Biathlon Team has ever worn the leader's jersey, but Burke's sixth-place finish in a 12.5-kilometer pursuit race in Pokljuka, Slovenia, on Sunday left it on shoulders. "I think every biathlete has thought about [wearing the yellow]," Burke, 27, said after the race. "It really hasn't hit me yet."
What a difference a week makes for Lindsey Vonn. The U.S. alpine star had been horrible in Aspen, failing to qualify in the giant slalom and skiing off-course in the slalom. This past weekend, though, she nearly won all three races in Lake Louise, Canada. What's more, Vonn performed brilliantly under the same kind of conditions that often plague skiers in Whistler, site of the upcoming Olympics.
The World Cup races in North America weren't kind to the hosts last weekend, as both the U.S. and Canadian alpine teams lost skiers to serious injury for the rest of the year to serious injury.