Magdalena "Lena" Neuner (since her 2014 marriage legally Magdalena Holzer, born 9 February 1987) is a retired German professional biathlete. She is the most successful woman of all time at Biathlon World Championships and a two-time Olympic gold medalist. At the age of 21, she became the youngest Overall World Cup winner in the history of the International Biathlon Union (IBU). With 34 World Cup wins, Neuner is ranked second all-time for career victories on the Biathlon World Cup tour. She has won the Overall World Cup title three times, in 2007–08, in 2009–10 and her final season in 2011–12. Neuner retired from the sport in March 2012, citing a lack of motivation and her desire for a normal life.
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Magdalena "Lena" Neuner (born February 9th, 1987) is a German professional biathlete. She started biathlon when she was nine years old and won five junior world championship titles from 2004 to 2006. Neuner made debut in the Biathlon World Cup in 2006 and won her first World Cup race in January 2007. One month later, she claimed three gold medals at her first appearance at the Biathlon World Championship. In the 2007-08 season, Neuner-at the age of 21-became the youngest Overall World Cup winner in the history of the International Biathlon Union (IBU). At the 2008 World Championships, she again won three titles, becoming the youngest six-time world champion.
As of March 2009, Neuner has won 14 World Cup races and has achieved 22 podium finishes. As part of the German World Cup team, she has also won seven relay races and one mixed relay event. During three appearances at the Biathlon World Championships, Neuner has claimed six gold medals and one silver medal. In addition, she has won seven junior world championship titles. Neuner has established herself as one of the fastest cross-country skiers in biathlon, but she is also noted for her volatile shooting performances in the standing position, often at the expence of better results.
Neuner has lived in Bavarian town of Wallgau since birth. At the age of 16, she joined the German Customs Administration to become a member of the governmentfunded Customs-Ski-Team. After winning three world championship gold medals in 2007, Neuner emerged as one of her home country`s most popular female athletes and was named German Sportswoman of the Year in 2007.
Magdalena Neuner was born in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany, the second of four children of bank clerk Paul Neuner and his wife Margit. She has an elder brother Paul, and two younger siblings-her brother Christoph and her sister Anna, who are both aspiring biathletes as well and participate in junior competitions.
Neuner grew up in the small Bavarian town of Wallgau, approximately 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) from Garmisch-Partenkirchen. She started alpine skiing when she was four years old and later tried various other winter sports at her hometown ski club SC Wallgau. At the age of 16, Neuner finished high school (Realschule) in Garmisch-Partenkirchen and decided to pursue a career in biathlon. Her parents were reluctant, but they eventually supported her ambition to become a professional biathlete.
Neuner started biathlon when she was nine years old after she had participated in a try out course at her local ski club. She won 29 races at the biathlon Student`s Cup of the German Ski Association (DSV), claiming the the overall title in her respective age-group for four years in a row from 1999 to 2002. After finishing school, Neuner joined the German Customs Administration in August 2003 to become a member in the goverment-supported Customs-Ski-Team (Zoll-Ski-Team). She officially holds the rank of Zollhauptwachtmeisterin (head customs officer), although she is a full time professional athlete with no customs obligations. One of her team mates is alpine skiing world champion Maria Riesch.
In December 2003, Neuner won the German Cup for 17-year olds, which led to her appointment for the 2003-04 European Cup competition for juniors. With four wins at European level, Neuner qualified for the 2004 Junior/Youth World Championships in Haute Maurienne, France, where she won the sprint and relay events, as well as a silver medal in the pursuit race. One year later at the 2005 Junior/Youth World Championships in Kontiolahti, Finland, she claimed two silver medals (pursuit and relay), and repeated her win in the sprint discipline.
Full Name at Birth
Paul Neuner, Christoph Neuner
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