Lindsey Vonn Wins Gold in Women's Downhill Ski Event

02/17/2010 at 06:50 PM EST

Lindsey Vonn Wins Gold in Women's Downhill Ski Event
Lindsey Vonn
Charlie Riedel/AP
Hurt shin? What hurt shin?

Ski champion Lindsey Vonn triumphed Wednesday, scoring a Gold medal after two intense weeks of speculation that an injury might dash her Olympic hopes.

She stunned sports reporters back on Feb. 10, by announcing that a bad bruise on her right shin – sustained during a slalom training run in Austria on Feb. 2 – might keep her from skiing at all in the Vancouver Winter Games. Luckily, Vonn had a few more days to heal after her events were postponed due to the weather. Still, she reported after practice runs on Sunday and Monday of this week that the shin was "throbbing really bad."

Throbbing or not, the much-reported injury didn't keep Vonn, a reigning two-time World Cup overall champion, from scoring the Gold in the women's downhill ski event Wednesday – the first American ever to do so. (Her American teammate Julia Mancuso took the silver.)

"I couldn’t believe the feeling when I looked up and saw my name with No. 1 next to it," Vonn, who fell over onto her back after crossing the finish line, told the New York Times after the race. "It was an unbelievable feeling. I didn't know what to do, so I just fell down."

It's official: The endorsement-ready poster girl for Vancouver 2010 has arrived, and she's not limping.

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