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Tuesday, January 25, 2011
Lindsey Vonn, Evan Lysacek honored

Associated Press

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- Lindsey Vonn and Evan Lysacek have been selected the U.S. Olympic Committee's sportswoman and sportsman of the year for 2010, and the USA-1 bobsled piloted by Steven Holcomb took the team award for the second straight year.

All three won gold medals at the Vancouver Games.

Vonn became the first American woman to win Olympic gold in the downhill, and she also won her third straight World Cup overall title. Lysacek defeated reigning Olympic champion Evgeni Plushenko to become the first American men's figure skating champion since Brian Boitano in 1988.

Holcomb and the "Night Train" snapped a 62-year U.S. drought in four-man bobsledding.

"I'm really excited to have won this award," Vonn said on a teleconference. "I mean, it means a lot to me to be recognized by the Olympic committee and by my peers. It's a very special award and to be recognized also with the paralympians and Evan Lysacek, they're incredible athletes and like I said, I'm very honored."

Alana Nichols, Taylor Chace and the sled hockey team won honors as the USOC's paralympic athletes and team of the year.

Vonn won the sportswoman honor for the second straight year, becoming the first American to achieve that feat since Jackie Joyner-Kersee in 1986-87. Lysacek is the first figure skater to be named the USOC's sportsman of the year since Scott Hamilton in 1981.

"This is a tremendous honor to have my name listed among some of the past recipients of this award," Lysacek said. "It's quite an impressive list when you consider the world of sports and how many dominant athletes have been winners of the USOC athlete of the year. For me, personally, it's been an incredible year."

The USA-1 bobsled team -- Holcomb, Curt Tomasevicz, Justin Olsen and now-retired Steve Mesler -- is the first group to win consecutive USOC team awards since the team category was added in 1996. The "Night Train" sled won the world championship in 2009, then dominanted at the Vancouver Games on the way to gold.

"Last season was just kind of surreal ... hands down, there was no way we were going to get beat," Holcomb said. "The planets aligned, and we dominated. It was awesome."