Ski champions have frequently come from small and obscure dots on the map, and that would certainly describe Buck Hill, Minn., the ski area not far from Lindsey Vonn’s hometown and just outside the Twin Cities. Today, Vonn is the most successful American skier in history and one of the few “four event” alpine ski racers in the sport. She is also the only American woman to have captured downhill gold at the Olympics and one of only two women with four World Cup overall titles. Her staggering career World Cup victories total stands at 77, an all-time women's record.
Since finishing sixth in the combined event at the 2002 Winter Olympics at the age of 17, Vonn's career has been on an almost continual upward trajectory. In the 2009/10 season, she became the first American skier to win three discipline titles in a single season, taking the Downhill, Super G and Super Combined crowns (she repeated all three titles the following season). In 2010, Vonn lived up to her billing as the Golden Girl of the Winter Olympics in Vancouver, as she took gold in Downhill and bronze in Super G. She ended the season earning her third overall World Cup title. And in 2015, Vonn eclipsed the women's World Cup victory total, and now is taking aim at the all-time victory total.
Along with her impressive ski resume, Vonn has become a pop culture icon in recent years, earning her ESPY awards, TV appearances, magazine covers and more, which has made her a household name around the globe.