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Winter Vinecki, who ran a marathon on all seven continents, including the Antarctica Marathon at age 14, just moved a step closer to another feat: becoming the first Winter Olympian with the first name “Winter.”
Vinecki, 22, recorded her first aerials World Cup win in Moscow on Saturday.
She beat a field that included the last two Olympic champions — Belarusians Alla Tsuper and Hanna Huskova — and the reigning World Cup season champion Laura Peel of Australia.
It came six days after Megan Nick earned her first World Cup victory to end a three-year drought for U.S. women. Four different American women made the podium in the first four World Cups this season. Up to four can be named to the Beijing Olympic team next year.
Vinecki ran her first 5K and completed her first triathlon at age 5. At age 12, she met U.S. Olympic aerialist Emily Cook, who convinced her to take up the high-flying ski sport.
She also kept running, becoming the first person to complete a marathon on every continent before turning 15 (with her mother, Dr. Dawn Estelle, each time).
But the turning point in her life came when she was 9. Her father, Michael, was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive form of prostate cancer (and died the following year).
Vinecki, before turning 10, and her family founded the non-profit Team Winter to fight prostate cancer, raising more than $500,000. Vinecki became a public speaker, appearing on the Rachael Ray Show at age 10 and giving a TED Talk at 14.
There have been Olympians with the last name “Winter” and the first or last name “Summer,” but none with the first name “Winter,” according to Olympedia.org.
NBC Olympic Research contributed to this report.
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A Winter Olympian named Winter? Marathon whiz kid wins aerials World Cup. originally appeared on NBCSports.com