It has paid off in spectacular style.
"Winning the overall is a dream I've had since being a young skier. It's everyone's dream."
Vonn's shocking crash in the super-G at the world championships -- she was airlifted off the piste after sustaining a serious knee injury -- tempered Maze's subsequent triumph, and the Slovenian's look of horror and concern for her rival was only too evident.
"I'm really afraid of crashes," she admitted. "I always concentrate 100% to make sure I do not make any mistakes such as happened to Lindsey.
"She was pushing the limits, she always does and that's why she's a great fighter."
Vonn faces a race against time to be fit in time for the Winter Olympics in Sochi next year, where Maze is determined to add to the two silvers she won at the 2010 Games in Vancouver as she carries the hopes of her small nation.
"It's my next major goal, to win a gold that's my goal," she said.
And don't rule out a return to the top of the music charts ("I'm really proud of that") by a young woman with talent and a zest for life -- a real crowd-pleaser in every sense.