Vonn sparkles on ESPYs, grabs top athlete honors

Lindsey Vonn continues her run as skiing's golden girl. ESPN has named the reigning Olympic Downhill Champion female athlete of the year.
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Olympic and World Champion Lindsey Vonn continues to take skiing to the mainstream with her athletic ability and camera appeal. On July 13, 2011, she captured the Best Female Athlete ESPY for a second straight year, edging X Games halfpipe champion Kelly Clark and a pair of WNBA standouts. 

“Wow, thank you so much this means so much to me,” said Vonn, who in 2010 became the first skier, male or female, to win the top individual ESPY. “I want to thank everyone who has helped me along the way - my husband for putting up with me, my coaches, family and fans -- thank you so much, you mean the world to me."

The award comes on the heels of a 2011 season that included three more Audi FIS Alpine World Cup titles to bring her career total to 12 -- more than any other American skier -- male or female. She also boosted her career World Cup win total to 41, another U.S. record, and captured a silver medal in downhill at the 2011 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships.

The honor, presented by NFL star Tim Tebow and supermodel Brooklyn Decker, was given in the name of tennis great and Title IX pioneer Billy Jean King for the strides she made for women in sport. 

It was Vonn’s career third ESPY and her fourth major 2011 recognition outside of alpine skiing. Earlier this year she became the youngest, first woman and first non-European to win the Preis Herbert, presented annually to a public figure who has promoted the Alps region through his or her work in the media.

--Peter Kray

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