Won First Olympic Gold
Four years later, at the 1998 Winter Games in Nagano, Japan, Disl won gold, silver, and bronze medals. She won a silver in the sprint, and the bronze for her time in the 15-kilometer individual event. The gold-medal winner of the individual was another formidable Slavic athlete, Ekaterina Dafovska of Bulgaria. Disl's skiing in the relay—even though at one point she lost a pole, and had to return and dig it out of the snow where others had skied over it—helped Germany take the gold medal in the relay. It was her sixth career Olympic medal, but her first-ever gold, and she described it as "the greatest thing one can have in one's life in sport," a report in the Fresno Bee quoted her as saying. Disl and the other German women again bested some impressive competition from the Russians and Scandinavians. Press reports mentioned that Disl had attempted to have her brown hair dyed gold as a good-luck gesture, but the process did not take and she emerged a redhead instead.
Readying for the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah, Disl faced tough competition from Sweden's Magdalena Forsberg, pegged as the top woman biathlete. But Disl bested Forsberg in the 7.5-kilometer sprint, taking the silver, with Disl's German teammate Kati Wilhelm winning the gold. The German women again took the gold medal in the relay event, though another teammate, Katrin Apel, had missed some shots and the team sank to sixth place; again, Disl's quick skiing helped them gain points, and at the finish, Disl won her eighth career medal, giving her more Olympic wins than any other male or female biathlete in the world.
Disl again made an impressive finish in the World Cup event, held in Oberhof, Germany, in January of 2003. In the women's 12.5-kilometer race, she had four shooting mistakes, but finished ahead of Bulgaria's Dafovska by three seconds. Disl trains near her home in the Austrian Tyrol, in Kössen and Tux, and has worked as a border guard and a bank clerk.
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