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Janica Kostelic

The most successful Olympic women's skier of all times

February 19. 2006 - At 2006 Winter Olympic Games in Torino, Italy, Croatian ski champion Janica Kostelic has added another 2 medals to her personal medals tally. In Salt Lake City, in 2002 Winter Olympics, Janica won 3 golds and 1 silver medal. With this year's addition of another Olympic gold and silver, Janica has become the most successful Olympic women's alpine skier of all times.

The other successful Olympic woman skiers were Vreni Schneider (Switzerland) with 3 golds, 1 silver and 1 bronze; Katja Seizinger (Germany) with 3 golds and 2 bronze; Deborah Compagnoni (Italy) with 3 golds and 1 silver; and Hanni Wenzel (Liechtenstein) with 2 golds, 1 silver and 1 bronze.

Skiing slope
Janica Kostelic skiing successes have made ski sport popular
in Croatia, with Zagreb's "Snow Queen" becoming part of
the official Ski World Cup competition

Overcoming adversities

Janica's personal Olympic tally now stands at 4 golds and 2 silver medals - more golds and more medals than any other women's Olympic skier. This is just the latest example of her ability to overcome bad health, bad knees and bad weather. Janica's resilience is not surprising when one recalls her early childhood training with her father and coach, Ante, and her brother Ivica in foreign resorts, because of the war in Yugoslavia in the 90s. During those days they often slept in the car to save money for their junior races.

Her stamina and success this year is even more amazing, considering that Janica has participated this Winter season in nearly all of the races on the alpine skiing calendar - a rare feat indeed, even for some of the men's skiers.

Janica's older brother, Ivica Kostelic has now also become an Olympic medal winner, by winning the silver medal in men's combined a few days earlier, behind Ted Ligety of the US who won the gold medal. This is Ivica's first Olympic medal.

Janica's successes

Since her first World Cup appearance in 1998, Janica has achieved a strong of successes, year after year. Here's the list of her skiing achievements:

1997-1998 season - Janica's first appearance in the Ski World Cup was in Super G in Cortina d'Ampezzo. As a 16-year old she also won 16th spot in Olympic combination in Nagano, Japan.

1998-1999 season - Her first win in the Ski World Cup in combination in St. Anton.

1999-2000 season - Janica had two wins in the Ski World Cup.

2000-2001 season - Janica won the Ski World Cup Crystal Globe and the Small Crystal Globe in slalom.

2001-2002 season - Janica won 3 gold medals - slalom, super G, combination - and 1 silver medal in super G, on Winter Olympics.

2002-2003 season - Once again, Janica wins the Large Crystal Globe and the Small Crystal Globe in slalom. She also won 2 gold medals, slalom and combination, in the World Cup.

2003-2004 season - Missing the Ski World Cup season because of surgery.

2004-2005 season - Great comeback, with Janica winning 3 gold medals - slalom, combination, and downhill.

2005-2006 season - Once again, Janica wins two Crystal Globes - the large one and the small one for slalom. She also won gold medal on Winter Olympics in Torino - see above article.

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