A gold medal for Magdalena Neuner
An incredible triple-gold-medal winning World Championships debut in 2007 made Magdalena Neuner a biathlon star. A gold medal at Vancouver 2010 confirmed her status.
Neuner (born 9 February 1987 in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany) took up alpine skiing aged four and started biathlon aged nine. She was a highly successful junior, winning five gold medals across three Junior World Championships from 2004 to 2006.
Bursts onto the senior scene
Neuner made her first World Cup appearances in the 2005/2006 season, but really came of age in 2006/2007, winning her first World Cup event in the sprint event at Oberhof. She was originally planning to compete in the 2007 Junior World Championships, but following this win was entered into the Senior World Championships in Antholz. Amazingly, she won three biathlon gold medals in the Sprint, Pursuit and Relay events.
World Cup dominance
Neuner followed her spectacular World Championship debut with a great campaign in the 2007/08 World Cup, which ended with her being crowned Overall winner. Then, at the 2008 World Championships in Östersund, she won three more biathlon golds, in the Mass Start, Relay and Mixed Relay.
Build-up to Vancouver
2008 and 2009 were difficult years for Neuner, as she struggled with illnesses and injuries. But she finally achieved consistency in the build-up to Vancouver, scoring seven consecutive World Cup podium finishes. At the Games she had to settle for silver behind Anastasia Kuzmina in the Sprint, but then won gold in the Pursuit three days later, with Kuzmina taking silver.