Vreni Schneider, the daughter of a village shoemaker, first competed in the Olympics in 1988. At the Calgary Games she won the giant slalom and then, two days later, the slalom.
Long standing record
During the following season, 1988-1989, Schneider won fourteen World Cup races to set a single season record that still stands. She continued to dominate women's Alpine skiing in the years to come, but at the 1992 Winter Olympics she was hampered by a herniated disc and finished out of the medals.
The first female alpine skier for three gold medals
At the 1994 Lillehammer Games, however, she was back in full form. She earned a silver medal in the alpine combined event and a bronze in the giant slalom. Fifth after the first run of the slalom, Schneider attacked the second run with such intensity that she won the gold medal. Schneider was the first female Alpine skier to win three gold medals and the first to earn five total medals.