10 x Paralympic Gold
When Gerd Schönfelder read in 1990 about the World Championships for athletes with a disability in Winter Park, he decided to get involved again.
After having had his ski racing career interrupted, when he lost an arm in an accident at the age of 19, he went on to resume skiing and within one year became one of the most successful German athletes in this discipline.
His first big test as member of the German Disabled Skiteam were the Winter Paralympic Games in Albertville, where he unexpectedly won three gold medals. Everyone agreed - a new star in disabled skiing was born.
Two years later, during the Paralympics in Lillehammer, Gerd Schönfelder added yet an other set of gold to his collection and became the top athlete of the World Championships in 1996, when he won all four competitions and finished the 1996/97 season as the number one in the World Cup ranking of disabled skiing.
His collection of medals kept growing during the Paralympics 1998 in Nagano and the World Championships in 2000 in Anzère, but after all, the most successful year was 2002, when he won all four gold medals during the Paralympic Games in Salt Lake City and was also a nominee for the prestigious Laureus' Sports Person of the Year Award.
Since then he has again been very successful during the World Championships 2004 in Wildschoenau (PHOTOGRAPHS SET 1 | SET 2), where he won Gold and Silver and has just finished the 2004/2005 season as the top athlete of disabled skiing.
For more on Gerd Schönfelder, please visit his WEBSITE (in German only), where you will find additional information, photographs and a collection of links to team mates and media reports.
© 2005 Steffen Berk