On the 2002 Salt Lake Metropolis Olympics, a little-known 17-year-old named Lindsey Kildow roared out of the beginning gate and right into a surprising sixth-place end, the very best end result for any American lady at these Winter Video games. Kildow, 5 years earlier than marriage would change her title to Lindsey Vonn, flashed a broad smile earlier than startling reporters who requested about her profession objectives.
“To win extra races than any lady ever has,” she mentioned.
Vonn would do this and way more in her profession, which ended Sunday. Along with her 82 World Cup victories, a complete second solely to Ingemar Stenmark of Sweden, who received 86, Vonn grew to become the primary American lady to win the Olympic downhill, claiming the gold on the 2010 Vancouver Video games.
She received an unprecedented 20 season-long World Cup self-discipline and general titles from 2008 to 2016, and added two Olympic bronze medals (one every in 2010 and 2018).
Furthermore, Vonn’s spirited resilience amid years of debilitating accidents, together with a telegenic, marketable character, raised the profile of ski racing in america. Alongside the best way, Vonn developed a nationwide following and legit superstar standing.
On Sunday, within the last race of her profession, Vonn was racing on knees that had been surgically reconstructed a number of occasions. A ceremonial, farewell descent down the mountain would nonetheless have been greeted with a thunderous ovation. As a substitute, Vonn stayed true to type and charged down the perilous racecourse. A 3rd-place end earned Vonn her eighth medal on the world ski championships.