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Olympics

Natalie Geisenberger: Always upbeat

Natalie Geisenberger is a successful athlete - but so far she has not been all that well known, even in her home country, Germany. Now that is about to change.

On her

homepage

Natalie Geisenberger names playing golf, animals, music, photography, meeting friends and sports as her main interests. And she gives her home address for fans who may want to request an autograph. Now that she has won a gold medal in Sochi she may well want to rework the page, in order to stem the flood of mail…and prevent crowds of fans from turning up on her doorstep.

Four years ago, at the Vancouver Olympics Natalie was still a nobody. Her teammate and rival Tatjana Hüfner got all the media attention.

Now, having won Olympic gold, and several world cup titles, Natalie is the undisputed No. 1 on the German women's luge team. In the run-up to the Games, observers were wondering whether the 26-year-old policewoman would be able to cope with the high expectations and the pressure. And now she has shown the world that she could.

Her recipe for success is simple: to always be in a good mood.

"When you have a bit of fun and a good laugh, it just makes life so much easier," she told reporters. This attitude explains why she and her male teammates

Felix Loch,

Tobias Wendl and Tobias Arlt have joined together on facebook as "The Sunshine training group" ("Trainingsgruppe Sonnenschein").

Natalie doesn't need to worry about her equipment - that's the job of German luge legend Georg Hackl. And judging by her latest results Natalie has little else to worry about, as she displays a natural talent for her sport.

And this has been a perfect season for her: She has won seven of eight World Cup events, and her second overall World Cup title in a row. Now she has won gold in the single event in Sochi and everyone is expecting the team gold medal to follow on Thursday.

And once Natalie has managed that, she will have firmly established herself as one of the superstars of the German winter sporting scene. And that is likely to change her life - beyond the design of her own webpage.

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