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Janica Kostelic

Three To Go

Kostelic had to tackle the super-G before moving onto her best events—the slalom and giant slalom. A few weeks earlier, she had finished fourth in the super-G during a World Cup competition in Cortina, Italy. The Olympics brought out the competitive quality, however, last evident in Kostelic's championship 2000-01 season. She missed Olympic gold in the super-G by eight-hundredths of a second, finishing behind Italy's Daniela Ceccarelli. Medal No. 2 was silver.

The women's slalom was run in a steady snowstorm on a treacherous course. Poor visibility obscured holes and ruts. Thirty skiers failed to finish one of their first two runs. Once again, Janica Kostelic overcame the obstacles to win. It was her second gold medal and third medal overall.

Awards and Accomplishments

1997 Captured junior titles in slalom and giant slalom
1998 Won two medals—bronze in the super-G and silver in the combined events—at the World Junior Championship in France
1999 Captured her first World Cup victory
2001 Became overall Women's World Cup Alpine Champion
2001 Featured on first Croatian postage stamp to honor an athlete
2002 Became first Alpine skier to win four medals in a single Olympic games and Croatia's first Winter Olympic medalist

Where Is She Now?

Following her unprecedented Olympic performance, Kostelic returned to the World Cup circuit. And she continued winning. On January 5, 2003, her 21st birthday, Janica and Ivica became the first brother and sister to win World Cup Alpine races on the same day. She won a slalom in Bormio, Italy, and he won a slalom in Kranjska Gora, Slovenia. Like every experienced Alpine skier, however, Janica knows each competition could be her last. "I'm just going to ski until I'm 28," she has said, "if I can make it."

She faced difficult course conditions again as she sought her record-breaking fourth medal in the giant slalom. "Because she is not ranked among the top competitors worldwide in the giant slalom," Pennington explained in the Times, "Janica Kostelic began her pursuit of Olympic history as the 19th skier from the starting gate today. That meant she skied about a half-hour after the first of the favorites, enough time for the snow on the race course to develop ruts like foxholes. But it takes more than ruts to hinder Kostelic." After the first run, Kostelic led the field by nearly a half-second, a sizeable margin. She was the 15th skier—the last of the leaders—to tackle the second run. She beat the field again and captured her fourth medal in nine days. Pennington likened her astonishing achievement to a runner winning both a 400-meter and a one-mile race. "Kostelic, as healthy as she has been in two years, is crossing over from category to category and beating the speed specialists in the speed events, like the super-G, and defeating the technicians in a technical event like the slalom," he wrote. "In these Olympics, there is no other skier—male or female—in Kostelic's class. In any single Olympics, there has been no other skier in Kostelic's category: four-time medal winner."

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Famous Sports StarsSkiingJanica Kostelic Biography - Relentless, Chronology, Ups And Downs, Olympic Uncertainty, Three To Go, Awards And Accomplishments - CONTACT INFORMATION