Lindsey Vonn with the 2012 FIS Alpine World Cup overall title, the fourth of her career (Getty Images/AFP - Fabrice Coffrini)
PARK CITY, UT (Sept. 14) – The U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association (USSA) has nominated reigning X Games slopestyle skiing champion Tom Wallisch (Pittsburgh) and four-time Audi FIS Alpine World Cup Champion Lindsey Vonn (Vail, CO) for the U.S. Olympic Committee's (USOC) Male and Female Athlete of the Year awards, the USOC's top annual honor. Wallisch won slopestyle gold at the Aspen X Games in 2012, captured the Association of Freeskiing Professionals (AFP) slopestyle title and was named Action Sports Athlete of the Year by ESPN. Vonn produced a record shattering season that resulted in her fourth Audi FIS Alpine World Cup overall title in addition to her fifth straight downhill crown, fourth super G title and third consecutive super combined globe to bring her career total to 16 World Cup titles. In the process, she reset the women's all time World Cup point total record to 1,980, surpassing a mark that stood since 2006. The USOC will announce the 2012 Athletes of the Year on Sept. 17.
HIGHLIGHTS (Reflecting Jan. 1, 2011 - Aug. 2012 nominated period)
Tom Wallisch (Pittsburgh) - Freeskiing
Most successful male slopestyle skier in the sport’s short history, establishing himself as a medal contender in the new Olympic sport of slopestyle skiing
Seven podiums during 2012 season en route to AFP World Rankings slopestyle title
Won X Games gold in Aspen, considered the top event in his sport
2012 Dew Tour Overall Cup champion
2012 ESPN Action Sport Athlete of the Year
2012 VISA U.S. Grand Prix winner
Lindsey Vonn (Vail, CO) – Alpine Skiing
17 World Cup wins and seven titles in 2011-12
2012 Audi FIS Alpine World Cup overall champion (career fourth)
Swept to three season discipline titles in both 2011 and 2012 Audi FIS Alpine World downhill, super G and super combined
2011 World Championship silver medalist for downhill
Became first American woman to win in all five Olympic alpine disciplines
Set an American single season win record with 12 World Cup victories, moving to third on the women’s all-time win list with 53
Set a new women's single season point record with 1,980, surpassing a mark that stood since 2006
ESPY Best Female Athlete
Laureus World Sport Award
Nickelodeon Kids Choice Award for Favorite Female Athlete
QUOTES Tom Wallisch It's an honor to be nominated for such a huge award, especially given the youth of our sport internationally.
Approaching Sochi 2014 and the debut of slopestyle as an Olympic event is going to be exciting. It's a great opportunity to showcase our sport to such a broad audience. Slopestyle is just a really exciting and fun part of our sport and I think will have a huge impact at the Olympics.
Lindsey Vonn It takes an incredible amount of commitment and determination to stay at the top, and that’s something all athletes share. But there is so much behind a gold medal or even one race victory in such a strong and deep sport as alpine ski racing.
Without the support of my U.S. Ski Team coaches, my equipment technicians and physical trainers I certainly wouldn’t have been able to produce such an incredible season.
Bill Marolt, USSA President and CEO Lindsey and Tom represent the very best levels of accomplishment of a world class athlete. Their performances truly stand out against a backdrop of record success by U.S. athletes in both the 2011 and 2012 competition seasons.