Lindsey Vonn clinches third straight World Cup overall title
Vonn, the first American woman to win the Olympic downhill, edged out German Maria Riesch, a double gold winner in Vancouver, for the overall title at the World Cup finals in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany.
Vonn had already clinched the overall title when Riesch, who needed to finish in the top two of the super giant slalom to stay in points contention, was knocked into third place before Vonn ran.
Just for good measure, though, the 25-year-old Vonn won the super-G race to record her American-record 33rd World Cup victory, one more than teammate Bode Miller.
"I knew what place Maria was in, so I knew the World Cup overall was already secured," Vonn said. "But I still wanted to go out there and have a good end to the season, I'm just really happy I had a good run and was able to end the season well."
American Ted Ligety, who failed to medal at the Olympics, clinched his second World Cup giant slalom event title with a third-place finish on Friday.
Vonn won three of five World Cup discipline titles this season -- downhill, super-G and super-combined -- and established herself as the most accomplished ski racer in U.S. history.
Vonn won gold and bronze at Vancouver to help lead the Americans to an Olympic-best eight alpine medals. Miller won three medals -- gold, silver, bronze -- but did not race in the World Cup finals because of a lingering ankle injury.
"I am really happy with the season as a whole for our entire team," Vonn said. "We've had some amazing successes. The U.S. is definitely a major force on the World Cup and in the Olympics and I'm really looking forward to next season and the World Championships back here in Garmisch."
-- Chris Dufresne
Photo: Lindsey Vonn celebrates after winning her third consecutive World Cup title on Friday. Credit: Alexis Boichard / Getty Images