No American athlete felt greater Olympic pressure than Lindsey Vonn, the two-time World Cup overall champion, who was expected to win at least two gold medals. After badly bruising her right shin in training a week before arriving in Vancouver, Vonn slowly healed as bad weather—or from her viewpoint, good fortune—postponed test runs and races day after day. Finally, three days later than originally scheduled, she skied her first event on the mountain at Whistler and showed why she had dominated the World Cup circuit and the pre-Olympic talk. In a daring and spectacular downhill victory, Vonn, 25, finished nearly half a second ahead of the surprise runner-up, U.S. teammate Julia Mancuso, and almost a second and a half ahead of third-place Elisabeth Goergl of Austria. And then Vonn collapsed to the snow in joy and relief.