After a controversial Sports Illustrated cover and the drama of her aching shin, Lindsey Vonn finally made headlines for doing exactly what everyone expected of her. With a commanding performance, the 25-year-old darling of U.S. audiences took gold in the women's downhill. It was the first Olympic gold of her career. "This is the best thing that's happened to me in my life," Vonn told reporters. "It's awesome." Fellow American Julia Mancuso finished 0.56 seconds behind her for silver, while Elisabeth Goergl of Austria won the bronze. Later Wednesday, speedskater Shani Davis defended his title in the 1,000-meter race, becoming the first man ever to repeat in that event. Snowboarder Shaun White took gold in the halfpipe, duplicating his 2008 win. White completed a Double McTwist 1260 move for a near-perfect score, and teammate Scotty Lago snatched the bronze.