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Vonn wins Spirit of Sport Award at Laureus World Sports Awards

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MONACO (AP) — Lindsey Vonn, Tiger Woods, Novak Djokovic and the France national soccer team were among the winners at the Laureus World Sports Awards, with Woods claiming the Comeback Award 19 years after he was first recognized.

Vonn, who retired during the recent Alpine skiing world championships , took home the Spirit of Sport Award, which is given to an athlete for relentless dedication to his or her career, and France was honored for winning the World Cup in July.

Woods, who won the inaugural World Sportsman of the Year award in 2000, won the Tour Championship in September for his 80th PGA Tour title and his first since August 2013.

Djokovic matched Usain Bolt’s record by being named World Sportsman of the Year for the fourth time after winning Wimbledon and the U.S. Open. He also earned the honor in 2012, 2015 and 2016.

Simone Biles was named World Sportswoman of the Year for winning four gold, one silver and one bronze medal at the gymnastics world championships. Naomi Osaka won the Breakthrough Award for winning the U.S. Open and Chloe Kim was named the World Action Sportsperson of the Year.

The awards were given in recognition of outstanding sports performance in 2018.

What’s next for Vonn? ‘It’s all about pushing myself’

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ARE, Sweden (AP) — Actor. Businesswoman. Mom. All three?

Life after skiing is already taking shape for Lindsey Vonn and she only completed her skiing career a day ago.

“Next goal, take on the world,” Vonn said, perhaps jokingly — but who’d put it past her? — when discussing what the future holds for her when she retires after the world championships in Sweden.

One thing’s for sure: She’s unlikely to be slipping out of the limelight.

“I’m a driven person,” said Vonn, who has 1.6 million Instagram followers and, at the height of her career in 2013, was worth $3 million, according to Forbes. “I’m not going to be sitting on the couch, twiddling my thumbs. That would be boring. It’s all about pushing myself.”

Just like it was all or nothing in her record-setting skiing career— her current shiner around her right eye and the highlight reel of crashes are testament to that — Vonn intends to immerse herself in lots of things once she puts away her racing suit.

She said she’ll be setting up her own business, which involves a “new project” that she is keeping under wraps for the moment. Attending a four-day course at Harvard Business School last year was an early signal of her post-skiing intentions.

“I hope one day,” Vonn said, “they say, ‘OK, she was a skier a long time ago, and now she’s a successful businesswoman.’”

That would be a big deal for Vonn, who has previously referred to being “self-conscious about my level of education,” having never been to college. Her family moved from Minnesota to Vail, Colorado, when she was 12 to advance her skiing career, and she took online courses to complete her high school education.

Vonn would do well to take some advice from American teammate Ted Ligety, who is also 34 and who founded his ski accessories company , Shred, in 2006.

“It’s a whole other world,” Ligety told The Associated Press. “It’s never easy … You can’t do it yourself. You got to have some help along the way and have some people that know better and that can help you carry out a vision as well.”

Vonn also is looking to get into the world of movies, both in front of the camera and behind it as an executive producer.

She has already been an extra on one of her favorite shows, “Law & Order,” and launched in December her own YouTube channel , LVTV, where she provides weekly lifestyle content on things like health, fitness and cooking.

It’s therefore no surprise that being a mother is not immediately on her agenda, but she definitely plans to have kids somewhere down the line. If her boyfriend, Nashville Predators defenseman P.K. Subban, wasn’t already aware of that, he is now.

In her news conference Tuesday after the super-G race at the worlds, Vonn set up her cell phone on the table in front of her to ensure Subban could listen in live.

“Wait, I’ve got to make sure my boyfriend is here for this,” Vonn said, repositioning her phone. “Yes, of course, I’d love to have children.

“I’m 34, so I can’t wait too long,” she added before looking straight down the phone. “You know what I’m saying.”

She said one of the reasons she is calling an end to her sports career now is so she doesn’t damage her body even more, to the extent that she wouldn’t be able to go skiing with her own children.

She’ll be making a clean break from the sport, too, after the downhill on Sunday. Not even coaching.

“I want to be still here, racing,” Vonn said, “I accept that I can’t, but I still want to be here. If I was going to be involved in skiing at least for the next few years, I think that would just make me even more sad. I need a break. Maybe after time, when I’m older, maybe then I can make my way back.”

Throw in her foundation and her slew of well-known sponsors that she plans to continue representing and Vonn won’t have a problem keeping herself occupied.

Top of the to-do list when she returns to the United States next week will be to have a seventh, and hopefully final, operation on her knee after tearing her lateral collateral ligament in November. During rehab, Vonn will have time to figure out exactly how to attack the next stage in her life.

“My head is still good,” she said. “That’s all I need at this point.”

 

The internet gives it up to Lindsey Vonn

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A cascade of goodwill was sent out for Lindsey Vonn on social media after she skied in the final race of her career, winning world championship downhill bronze in the process. Vonn’s career in Alpine racing comes to a close with 82 World Cup wins, the most ever by a woman, 2 world championship wins and three Olympic medals – including downhill gold in 2010.

Vonn’s boyfriend and Nashville Predator defenseman, P.K. Subban took to Twitter to remember Vonn’s late grandfather. Don Kildow, Vonn’s beloved grandfather, passed away on November 1, 2017 at the age of 88, four months before Vonn was set to make her return to the Olympics in PyeongChang.

The heir-apparent to Vonn, the U.S.’ Mikaela Shiffrin, had nothing but love for her retiring teammate.

Slovenia’s four-time Olympic medalist Tina Maze had love for her competitor.

Tennis legend, Martina Navratilova took time to recognize another GOAT.

Canada’s two-time Alpine skiing Olympian Marie-Michele Gagnon says Vonn has been an inspiration for her career.

France’s three-time Olympic Alpine skiing medalist Alexis Pinturault, tipped his virtual top hat to Vonn.

Vonn’s U.S. teammate, and fellow speed demon, Steve Nyman showed his pre-race support.

Germany’s three-time Olympic champion luger, Felix Loch, sent out his support to Vonn and also Norway’s retiring Aksel Lund Svindal.

The number crunchers at FiveThirtyEight say the stats don’t lie.

Sports Illustrated’s Tim Layden offered his take on what makes Lindsey Vonn great.

An NBC Sports researcher shared what scrapbooking looks like for Lindsey Vonn.

A day before her final race, Vonn was commiserating with skiers of every kind, offering her extensive rehab knowledge to actor Zac Efron, who’s looking to rebound after his own skiing-induced ACL tear!