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Natalie Geisenberger: The Luge GOAT on the Brink of Olympic History

The German luge legend has the opportunity to cement her legacy further in Beijing with a three-peat of gold medals.

With Tom Brady officially announcing his retirement, the GOAT conversation is top of mind and across your Twitter timeline. Is the legendary quarterback in fact the greatest NFL player of all time? And more broadly, what even constitutes being considered a GOAT in your sport?

Believe it or not, Merriam-Webster actually includes their own definition, declaring GOAT as “the greatest of all time: the most accomplished and successful individual in the history of a particular sport or category of performance or activity.”

Using this interpretation, the 2022 Winter Olympics will feature a GOAT of their own, but not an expected name or a familiar face featured in NBC marketing promoting coverage of the Games.

Germany’s Natalie Geisenberger is already the most accomplished female luger ever — earning four Olympic gold medals and 50 World Cup singles wins in her illustrious career, both records — but she has the opportunity to further cement her legacy in Beijing.

The two-time defending gold medalist in singles and team relay could make history this month with a double golden three-peat, something that’s never been done in women’s luge and only matched by German luge compatriot Georg Hackl.

The Natalie Geisenberger Brand

Home town: Munich, Germany
Club: RRT Miesbach
Instagram followers: 7,710
Key endorsements:  Alphazoo, Bioteaque Tea Manufactory, ICAROS Fitness & Gaming, Paedi Protect 

Career Achievements & Milestones
  • 4 Olympic gold medals (No. 1 all-time)
  • 9 FIL World Luge Championships gold medals (No. 1 all-time)
  • 6 FIL European Luge Championships gold medals (No. 1 all-time)
  • 10 Luge World Cup titles (No. 1 all-time)

A trainee police officer in Germany, Geisenberger had the distinct honor of presenting the DFB-Pokal trophy to the field for a final match between rival soccer clubs Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund.

Geisenberger’s legend has continued to grow throughout her career but went to new heights after her repeat double-gold performance in 2018 at the Pyeongchang Games. She continued her winning ways with multiple gold medals at the 2019 World Championships only to achieve her greatest accomplishment next; becoming a mom for the first time.

She took the 2019-20 season off to have a son, Leo, who was born in May of 2020. She returned to competition a few months later in Serena Williams or Allyson Felix-esque fashion, taking second place in the first eight World Cup races of the 2020-21 season — and ultimately winning the World Cup overall title at the end of the campaign.

This return alone would earn her GOAT status. But like Williams and Felix, Geisenberger had plenty left in the tank.

At one point leading up to the Games though, there was a chance Geisenberger might actually boycott the opportunity to make history in Beijing. During a training trip to China in November, she was outspoken with her dissatisfaction regarding the way she saw athletes treated by Chinese officials, the strict COVID-19 protocols (even with her daily negative tests), and challenging training conditions.

However, the opportunity to re-write the Olympic history books and continue Germany’s dominance in luge was too important to pass up.

A favorite to accomplish the historic double three-peat, Geisenberger begins her quest to confirm her luge GOAT status on Feb. 7 when the women’s singles competition kicks off.

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