Deborah Compagnoni

From Death's Door to Triple Gold

Deborah Compagnoni's career was plagued by frequent injuries and major illnesses. She endured four operations on her knees, survived a serious kidney infection and once, in 1990, she almost died from an intestinal blockage.

Compagnoni's Olympic success began in 1992 when she won the gold medal in the super giant in Méribel. The very next day, Compagnoni fell in the giant slalom and ended up back in hospital. Concentrating on technical events, she won the giant slalom at the 1994 Olympics.

She repeated her giant slalom victory at the 1998 Nagano Games and became the first Alpine skier to win gold medals in three different Olympics. She also earned a silver medal in the slalom, missing a fourth gold by only six-hundredths of a second.