One of the greatest female skiers of all time, the Croatian became the first woman in skiing history to win four Alpine gold medals following her victory in the women's combined event in the 2006 Winter Olympics in Italy.
She also won a silver medal in the super-G, her sixth career Olympic medal, which made her the most successful woman in Olympic Alpine skiing history. She is also the only woman to have won three alpine Olympic gold medals in one year at Salt Lake City in 2002.
Kostelic was World Cup champion in 2001, 2003 and 2006 and in January 2006 she became only the second woman in history, along with Austria’s Petra Kronberger, to win a grand slam of all five Alpine skiing disciplines in the same season – downhill, super-G, giant slalom, slalom and combined - when she triumphed in the slalom at Ofterschwang in Germany.
In addition to being a brilliant skier, Kostelic has proved a courageous fighter, coming back from debilitating injuries. To compete in Salt Lake City she fought back from three knee operations in 12 months to win gold medals in the giant slalom, slalom and combined events, and silver in the super-G.