Lindsey Vonn broke so many records this year it’s easy to forget she kicked off 2015 with two lost bags, a cancellation and a bad cold.
While Vonn flew to Austria for her first race of the year at Bad Kleinkirchheim, an airline misplaced two of her bags — which included her ski clothes and helmet — at Newark Liberty International Airport. She engaged her 400,000+ Twitter followers in the search.
The gear arrived in time for a few practice runs, but high winds forced the cancellation of the race. That meant Vonn, weakened by a bad cold caught at a speed camp in Beaver Creek, Colorado, could rest up a bit for her next stop: Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy, where her 2015 really took flight. Here’s a look at Vonn’s top five moments of the year:
The Women’s Wins Record Is Hers
For 35 years, Austrian great Annemarie Moser-Proell’s 62 world cup wins stood as a record. In Cortina d’Ampezzo, Vonn tied Moser-Proell’s mark with a victory in the downhill event. Then, on Jan. 19, she set a new standard with a flawless run down the Olympia delle Tofane course in the super-G, finishing 0.85 seconds ahead of Anna Fenninger of Austria. The record sealed her comeback from two devastating knee injuries that kept her out of competition for two years.
Securing Downhill Title No. 7
By March 18, Vonn had notched another three world cup wins, bringing her historic total to 66. With win No. 67, in the downhill at Meribel, France, Vonn clinched her seventh world cup downhill title.
The win tied Vonn with Moser-Proell for the women’s record of seven world cup globes in one disciplines. The next day, Vonn won the super-G globe, her fifth in that discipline and 19th total. She joins Swedish legend Ingemar Stenmark as the only skiers to claim 19 titles.
In February, Vonn took super-G bronze at the world championships, making her the most decorated U.S. woman in alpine worlds history.
Vonn dated Tiger Woods, winner of 14 major professional golf championships, for more than two years. The famed golfer took on an unaccustomed spectator role in Cortina d’Ampezzo, donning a skeleton mask to sneak onto the course and surprise Vonn at the finish line after her super-G victory. He suffered for it, too, getting whacked by a video camera and losing a front tooth. (Race officials dispute Woods’ version of events.) But on May 3, Vonn announced via Facebook that the relationship was over.
Woods’ public statement was equally gracious. Vonn continues to be supportive of her ex, recently tweeting of his September back surgery:
Wishing you all the best and a speedy recovery! I know you'll come back! https://t.co/t6J7k1CKz4— lindsey vonn (@lindseyvonn) September 18, 2015
Launching The Lindsey Vonn Foundation
Vonn launched her foundation in February. Her goal? To empower girls to grow through “opportunities, skills and experiences that build self-esteem and creative positive self-image,” Vonn posted.
In August, the foundation hosted 90 girls at a camp at Vail Mountain School.
Lake Louise Triple Crown
In a single December weekend, Vonn scored wins 68, 69 and 70 at the FIS World Cup speed season opener at Lake Louise in Alberta. It’s the third time she has swept the races there, after hat tricks in 2011 and 2012. Her win in the super-G had a margin of 1.32 seconds, the largest in more than 18 years. With 18 total wins at the venue, there’s talk of re-christening the venue Lake Lindsey.
Giant Slalom Success
After the year Vonn has had, it’s impossible to select just five moments, so here’s one more: Vonn’s Dec. 12 giant slalom win in Are, Sweden. It was her fourth career win in giant slalom and first in nearly three years.
The win was her fourth consecutive world cup victory. And although the string was broken in her next race, there’s no telling what a healthy Vonn will accomplish on (and off) the slopes in 2016.