Bobsleigh silver medallist at the Olympic Museum
Ulrike Holzner is German. She is 37. At the Olympic Winter Games in Salt Lake City, she was the Olympic bobsleigh silver medallist. She and her partner Sandra Prokoff were among the favourites for a gold medal, having won all the World Cup Series races in the 2001-2002 season. In 2002, these were the first Games in which women could compete in this discipline.
At the Games on a whim
When asked how she got involved in this male-dominated sport, especially as she looks so slender and fragile, she replies. “It wasn’t planned at all. I was keen on athletics, and was a long jumper. I had a friend who did bobsleigh, and one day he said to me ‘If I’m capable of doing it, so are you!’, and that’s how it all began.” Ulrike quickly reached the highest level, one of her assets being very good acceleration. With her team mate, she placed second in the German championships, qualified for the world championships and was on her way to the XIX Winter Games!
A thesis on bobsleigh
So why not try her luck again in Turin? “I’m too old. Now I’m finishing the sports studies I gave up for six years.” Ulrike decided to turn to education. At the University of Mainz, she is studying physical education, German and English. She is currently preparing for her final sports exam. Her thesis is on the bobsleigh. That is why she visited the Olympic Museum to look for information.