in love with gold-lena…

a love affair with a country... lena and germany.

… well, not really. but you gotta love that cute little blondie, with those blue eyes seeming to explode of joy and life. actually, germany is currently in love with two lenas. one is still a teenie, from north germany, brunette. the other is in her early twenties, blonde, from bavaria. and i think that the country’s love will last longer with the latter.

you must understand that germans love wintersports. every weekend, there are hours of live events on tv, and not on some secondary channel. the two official tv stations ard and zdf can bring up to 16 hours per weekend, live! bobsled, alpine skiing, long skiing, ski jumping, nordic combination, speed skating, curling, the luge – you name it! but one sport has really made it to the center of attention: biathlon, that seemingly strange combination of cross-country skiing and shooting a gun. well, if you look at it, it’s not so mysterious where a sport like that might have come from. and it’s pretty damn exciting to watch. since germany has had pretty good success, it has become very popular over the last three decades.

first world championship, three gold medals! the birth of "gold-lena"...and the popularity is still growing. thanks to “gold-lena”. it’s actually pretty simple: you are a star if you are successful in what you do, and if people are paying attention to what you do. like cristiano ronaldo in the sport of football. but you are loved if people like what you say and don’t say in those interviews before and after a competition. and how you say it. this makes lena neuner a beloved star.

her sporting successes make people at least wanting to love her, anyway. magdalena neuner was 19 when she first competed in a biathlon world cup season, which is made out of racing weekends (similar to formula 1) with various competitions. she won her first race before turning 20, and in her first biathlon world championship (a competition only surpassed in importance by the winter olympics), she won three gold medals.

 

lena in shooting position during this year's olympic games.

germany had a new wunder girl. and, what made it even more appealing, she was short, very cute, always smiling with her face and her eyes, very natural in interviews and simply lovable. simple, from a small winter town, with no intention of becoming a star or a socialite. just the way germans love to like their stars. the last time they loved someone from the sports arena in a similar way must have been with steffi graf, who was arguably less cute!

what would the young woman do in her second season? well, she won the overall world cup (comparable to a f1 world championship after all the races), as the youngest woman to do so in history. and in the world championship (held every year), she won another three golds, upping her tally to six overall.

 

a trully golden smile!

don’t think for a moment that this is an easy feat; in biathlon, it’s actually really tough to win races. the shooting is what adds the spice, with different sorts of punishments for errors (normally having to do one extra round for each shooting mistake). To win every weekend is basically impossible because of that, but to be amongst the best constantly is possible and a true sign of quality. lena’s third season wasn’t as successful as the first two, and she wasn’t able to defend her title as the overall world cup champion. so she somewhat had a nice story going on for her before her first winter olympics, held in vancouver earlier this year. would she be able to come back? would she be able to get a few medals, maybe even a gold?

lena neuner would. and she did. two golds and a silver made her one of the big names in the games, and probably the biggest name in german sports, for the year. just to keep the comparison up, neuner’s olympíc games are even more significant than vettel’s first f1 title. she will probably win the vote for germany’s sport woman of the year, after winning that for the first time in 2007; vettel is in the running for the men, but might not win it.

 

... and so the story continues...

don’t get me wrong. germany really likes vettel. he’s young, straight-forward, has a good sense of humor and is down-to-earth, and very successful. but there is a slight difference: germany really loves lena neuner. because she has all of that, and she has that smile and those eyes.

neuner just started the defence of her 2010 world cup overall title, her second after 2008. she didn’t race in the first weekend, because she had the flew; and germany missed her. now she’s back, slowly finding her form. this weekend, she led the german team to win first place in the team event, and germany was reminded once again why they’d fallen in love with her only four winters ago.

this love affair will last.

 

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Published in: on December 12, 2010 at 14:19  Comments (1)  
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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Thanks for sharing. Keep writing..


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