Lindsey Vonn Becomes First U.S. Woman to Capture Gold in Olympic Downhill

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Lindsey Vonn Becomes First U.S. Woman to Capture Gold in Olympic Downhill American Lindsey Vonn won the Olympic downhill on Wednesday, the first American woman to nab a gold medal in the event.

Childhood rival and fellow American Julia Mancuso finished
second, giving the U.S. its first 1-2 pairing in an Alpine race in 26
years.

But it was Vonn, a two-time World Cup champion, who was the prohibitive favorite even after suffering a bruised right shin Feb. 2 while practicing for the event.

"She had the weight of the world on her," husband Thomas Vonn told The Associated Press.
"People were basically hanging the medal around her neck before the
start. That's incredibly hard to deal with."

Poor conditions didn't make the going any easier, as a spate of bad weather prevented the course from being smoothed out. Several crashes resulted, with Edith Miklos of Romania needing to be airlifted off the course.

Vonn herself was knocked off balance by an errant bump just prior to the finish line, knocking two-tenths off her 1 minute, 44.19 second time. The Minnesota native also struggled at times to maintain tight lines, but she was always able to correct her route when it seemed she was about to lose control.

"It was not the perfect run by any means. But I attacked and made it down," said Vonn. "This is everything I've wanted and hoped for."

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