Gold and bronze medals at the Vancouver Games, plus a third consecutive World Cup overall title, helped Lindsey Vonn become the 2010 Female Athlete of the Year, chosen by members of The Associated Press. She is the first skier - male or female – to win one of the annual AP awards, which began in 1931.
Vonn received 77 of 175 votes submitted by news organizations that make up the AP’s membership, more than double what anyone else got in the tally announced Saturday.
“For sure, 2010 was the best year I’ve ever had,” the 26-year-old Vonn said in a telephone interview from France, where she won a World Cup downhill race Saturday. “It couldn’t have gone any better for me. Even if I just won the Olympic gold medal, that would have made it the best year of my career and the best day of my life, period.”
Zenyatta’s 32 votes placed the racehorse No. 2 in the AP balloting for the second consecutive year. The 6-year-old mare retired with a 19-1 career record and a North American earnings record for female horses. Her only loss was a narrow one in the Breeders’ Cup Classic.
Connecticut basketball player Maya Moore finished third with 29 votes, followed by tennis star Serena Williams with 14. No one else got more than five votes.