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Princess of Asturias Award for Sports 2019
Lindsey Vonn (née Kildow) was born into a family of skiers in Saint Paul (Minnesota, USA) on 18th October 1984. She made her debut in this sport at the age of 7 and first competed in international competitions at the age of 9. At the age of 14, she was the first American to win the Topolino Trophy (Italy), subsequently winning her first victory in an official International Ski Federation competition in 2001. In the 2004-05 season, she came first in six World Cup competitions and made her debut in the World Championships. However, a major step forward in her career came when she joined the Red Bull Athletes Special Project, headed by Robert Trenkwalder, a coach who cooperated with the American alpine ski team She rose to acclaim in 2009 as dual world champion, winning both the downhill and super-G championships, as well as repeating as overall World Cup champion.
Lindsey Vonn is the female skier with the most victories in the history of the Alpine Ski World Cup. Her 63rd podium in 2016, she broke the record held by Annemarie Moser-Pröll since the seventies. She has come first 82 times in this competition, just four off the record held by Swedish skier Ingemar Stenmark. An Olympic medal winner on three occasions –gold in downhill and bronze in super-G in the 2010 Vancouver Games, and bronze in downhill in the 2018 Games held in Pieonchang–, she has been world champion on two occasions in the specialties of downhill and super-G (2009), three times runner-up –in downhill (2007 and 2011) and super-G (2007)– and third in super-G (2015) and downhill (2017 and 2019). Overall World Cup Champion on four occasions (2008, 2009, 2010 and 2012), she has also won eight Downhill World Cups (between 2008 and 2013, and in 2015 and 2016), five super-G (between 2009 and 2012, and in 2015) and three combined (between 2010 and 2012).
She marked another milestone in her career at the beginning of the 2011-12 season with her victory in the giant slalom competition in the World Cup held in Sölden (Austria), which placed her among the small group of skiers with wins in all five disciplines. That same year she beat Renate Götschl’s record of 18 victories in super-G, becoming the female skier with the most wins in the World Cup and beating the record of points obtained by a skier in a single season, scoring 1,980. Following two irregular seasons due to injuries, she won her 7th Crystal Globe in downhill and her 5th in super-G in the 2015 World Cup. At the end of that year, she broke the record held by alpine skier Hermann Maier thanks to her 25th win in super-G. In 2016, she broke the women’s downhill record with her 38th podium and broke Stenmark’s record with her 20th World Cup Crystal Globe. In March 2016, while heading the world circuit, Vonn had to stop skiing due to injury. She made a comeback in the 2017-18 season and managed to win downhill competitions at four consecutive events, the last in Ǻre (Sweden), her 82nd victory. In 2019, once again in Ǻre, she won the bronze medal. She was the oldest woman to win a medal in the world championships, thus putting the finishing touches to her career, which ended when she was unable to overcome her physical problems.
Vonn established a foundation that bears her name in 2014 to promote the empowerment of young women. Among other distinctions, she has been distinguished with the 2010 US Olympic Committee award for Sportswoman of the Year, the Best Female Athlete Excellence in Sports Performance award (USA, 2010 and 2011) and two Laureus awards, namely 2011 Sportswoman of the Year and 2019 Spirit of Sport.
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