Born in Bolzano on 3 January 1969, Gerda Weissensteiner is the only Italian athlete to have won an Olympic medal in two different disciplines: luge and bobsleigh, in her case. The youngest of eight siblings, Weissensteiner began luging on natural paths at the age of seven. After moving onto artificial tracks, she won a total of 13 World Cup races, winning the title overall twice (in 1992/93 and 1997/98). Weissensteiner also won four gold and silver medals at the European and World Championships, including gold at Calgary 1993. She won the gold medal at the Lillehammer Winter Olympics in 1994 before retiring after Nagano 1998 to become a coach. However, Weissensteiner returned to competition in 2001 as a bobsleigh pilot, finishing seventh at Salt Lake City 2002 with Olympic champion track cyclist Antonella Bellutti as her brakewoman. She began competing with Jennifer Isacco in the 2002/03 season, going on to win one World Cup race (Calgary 2003), a European Championship silver medal at St Moritz 2006 and the Olympic bronze at Turin 2006. She later went back to coaching young lugers.