It’s a family affair for luge legend Natalie

The German luge legend became the first to win the women's singles competition three times.


Germany's Natalie Geisenberger celebrates after winning the gold medal in the women's singles luge. [Photo/AFP]

February 10, 2022

BEIJING – Natalie Geisenberger’s ASV Miesbach club in Bavaria erupted in celebration on Tuesday night, as the German luge legend became the first to win the women’s singles competition three times. A small child hid behind his father, spooked by all the commotion.

Eighteen-month-old Leo Geisenberger, Natalie’s son, would like to see his mother on a big TV screen, blowing kisses to him with tears of joy running down her face. The little boy might not have spotted the gold medal hanging around his mother’s neck.

Geisenberger’s victory at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games was her third consecutive women’s single luge Olympic gold after winning in Sochi in 2014 and in Pyeongchang in 2018.

Another two golds in the team luge event in Sochi and Pyeongchang and a bronze from 2010 in Vancouver make Geisenberger the winningest luge Olympian of all time.

Geisenberger’s husband, Markus Scheer, and her father, Helmut, cheered her on from Germany surrounded by friends and family.

Since 2020, when Leo was born, Scheer and Helmut have traveled with Geisenberger on the luge circuit from event to event to allow for a normal family life alongside top-level competition.

And she’s not alone. Together with German national team member Dajana Eitberger, the 34-year-old set up an interest group on social media called “Mum’s special training.”

The 2018 Olympic luge silver medal winner Eitberger gave birth to her child in 2020 as well and returned to the sport shortly after.

As Leo grows, he will come to understand the details behind his mother’s concerns about leaving her family behind for the 2022 Games, addressing the rules of the Olympics in times of a pandemic.

She may tell him about the nerve-wracking two days when she had to face four runs down Beijing’s fierce and fast luge track.

She may tell him about a restless night after the first two runs with her having taken the lead.

Despite taking home gold in Beijing, Geisenberger was having a lackluster 2021/22 season, with some pundits speculating she might retire.

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