Kati WILHELM

Germany GER

Biathlon

  • Olympic Medals
    3 G
    3 S
    1 B
  • Games participations
    4
  • First Olympic Games
    Salt Lake City 2002
  • Year of Birth
    1976
Olympic Results

Biography

Kati WILHELM

Having started her international sporting career as a cross-country skier, Kati Wilhelm made a hugely successful switch to biathlon, becoming the sport’s most decorated female Olympian of all time.

A star of German sport

Wilhelm earned the nickname of Rotkäppchen (Little Red Riding Hood) thanks to her distinctive red hair and the trademark red cap she wore when racing. Allied to her impressive record as the most successful female biathlete in Olympic history, her character and ready smile made her a familiar presence on magazine covers and TV programmes across Germany, and one of the country’s most popular sporting figures. She brought an end to her 12-year career at the top in 2010 and devoted her energies to studying international business and working as a consultant for the public broadcaster ARD.

Making a choice

Born in Schmalkalden, Thuringia, Wilhelm took up cross-country skiing as a young girl. At the age of 21 she made the Germany team for the 1998 Olympic Winter Games in Nagano, finishing 26th in the 15km classic event, 32nd in the pursuit, 16th in the 30km freestyle and fifth in the 4x5km relay. The following year she took the advice of her older sister, who told her: “You should try biathlon. You’d be unbeatable at that.” With her powerful skiing allied to the shooting ability she had acquired as a sergeant in the German armed forces, Wilhelm seemed to be tailor-made for the sport. She scored her first international podium finish at the European Championships at Zakopane on 27 January 2000, coming third in the sprint, and won the first of her five world titles in the same event at Pokljuka the following year. “I’ve always wanted to be the best,” she once said. “The first time I climbed onto the podium I realised I could do it and I wanted more. I always wanted more, all the time.”

From Salt Lake City to Turin

Wilhelm collected more medals than any other female biathlete at Salt Lake City 2002, winning gold in the 7.5km sprint and silver in the 10km pursuit, while helping Germany to victory in the 4x5km relay. She added to her Olympic medal haul four years later in Turin, where she was Germany’s flag bearer, coming home more than a minute ahead of the field to win the 10km pursuit, and finishing second in the 12.5km mass start and the 4x5km relay to become the most successful female biathlete in Olympic history. After taking her medal tally to seven with a bronze in the relay at Vancouver 2010, she decided to take her bow.

Olympic Results

More results
Olympic Results
Results Event Sport

Vancouver 2010

#29
7.5 kilometres Sprint
7.5 kilometres Sprint Biathlon
#4
15 kilometres
15 kilometres Biathlon
#11
10 kilometres Pursuit
10 kilometres Pursuit Biathlon
#24
12.5 kilometres Mass Start
12.5 kilometres Mass Start Biathlon
B
4 × 6 kilometres Relay
4 × 6 kilometres Relay Biathlon
Olympic Results
Results Event Sport

Turin 2006

#7
7.5 kilometres Sprint
7.5 kilometres Sprint Biathlon
#16
15 kilometres
15 kilometres Biathlon
G
10 kilometres Pursuit
10 kilometres Pursuit Biathlon
S
12.5 kilometres Mass Start
12.5 kilometres Mass Start Biathlon
S
4 × 6 kilometres Relay
4 × 6 kilometres Relay Biathlon
Olympic Results
Results Event Sport

Salt Lake City 2002

G
7.5 kilometres Sprint
7.5 kilometres Sprint Biathlon
S
10 kilometres Pursuit
10 kilometres Pursuit Biathlon
G
4 × 7.5 kilometres Relay
4 × 7.5 kilometres Relay Biathlon
Olympic Results
Results Event Sport

Nagano 1998

#26
5 kilometres, Classical
5 kilometres, Classical Cross Country Skiing
#32
5/10 kilometres Pursuit
5/10 kilometres Pursuit Cross Country Skiing
#16
30 kilometres Freestyle
30 kilometres Freestyle Cross Country Skiing
#5
4 × 5 kilometres Relay
4 × 5 kilometres Relay Cross Country Skiing