Photo Credit: AFP
The athlete proved she had talent -- and extreme dedication -- at the 2006 Olympic Winter Games in Torino, Italy. After suffering a life-threatening crash during training, Vonn wasn't sure if she'd even be able to compete. But she overcame her injuries and skied in five events, placing as high as seventh.
Four years later, Vonn experienced an unfortunate case of déjà vu, as she once again sustained a painful injury right before her Vancouver events. Fans feared that the 25-year-old's bruised shin would keep her from hitting the slopes in the 2010 Winter Olympic Games -- but on Wednesday night, the unstoppable U.S. competitor worked through the pain and won her first Olympic gold medal.
"This is the best day of my life," the skiing star said. "I'm overwhelmed."
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