Thursday, July 14, 2011

Lindsey Vonn was named Associated Press Female Athlete

Lindsey Vonn was named Associated Press Female Athlete. Lindsey Vonn Named AP Athlete of the Year Val d’Isere, France - Olympic gold medalist and three-time Audi FIS Alpine World Cup overall champion Lindsey Vonn has been named the Associated Press Female Athlete of the Year for 2010.

nThe announcement on Saturday came on the heels of Vonn’s stunning downhill win in Val d’Isere earlier in the day to regain the World Cup downhill lead. On Sunday Vonn won the super combined in Val d’Isere to take the overall World Cup lead as well. Long-time AP journalist Howard Fendrich, who has covered four Olympic Games, including Vancouver caught up with Vonn earlier in the week for her comments on the award. She is the first skier to be nominated, and therefore awarded the prestigous honor.

Created in 1931, the AP honor is the original Athlete of the Year award in America and is well known for recognizing both female and male athletes since its inception. Vonn received more than double any other nominee.

The awards are voted on annually by a panel of AP sports editors from across the United States. Past winners include Joe DiMaggio (1941), Billy Jean King (1967, 1973), Michael Jordan (1991-93), Lance Armstrong (2002-05) and Serena Williams (2002, 2009).

“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.”

Twice in the awards history, the panel couldn’t decide on a single athlete and therefore named an entire team. In 1980 it was the men responsible for the Miracle on Ice and again in 1999 when Mia Hamm and company captured the FIFA World Cup in front of 90,000 at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif.

Vonn’s stunning year included capturing a historic first women’s downhill gold medal at the Olympics before adding bronze in super G. She would go on to land an American record 11 World Cup wins in a single season en route to her third consecutive overall and downhill titles. Additionally she defended her title for super G and added a super combined title. To date, her career 35 World Cup wins is the most of any American, male or female.

“I always love the journalists from the AP, I see them every single weekend and they do such a good job telling the story of alpine skiing,” added Vonn. “Win or lose, their stories are always fair. Really, they’re one of the biggest ambassadors of our sport in the world.”

By: First Tracks | Online Media

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