Carolina Kostner is an Italian figure skater who competed at the 2006, 2010, and 2014 Olympic Games. In Sochi, she won her first medal, a bronze.
Figure skating beginnings
Kostner was born February 8, 1987 in Bolzano, Italy. She was the second oldest women’s figure skating medalist since 1928, according to sports-reference.com, and will turn 31 the day before the 2018 PyeongChang Opening Ceremony.
She began skating at age 4 when her father bought her a skating dress from Finland as an Easter gift. She also was a competitive skier until she was 12, when she quit to focus solely on figure skating.
Major competitions/ medals
Kostner is the 2014 Olympic bronze medalist. She also competed at two other Olympics: 2010 (where she finished 16th) and 2006 (where she finished ninth).
Kostner was the 2012 world champion. She won five other Worlds medals in her career. At the 2017 World Championships, she finished in sixth place.
Kostner won the European championships five times (2007, 2008, 2010, 2012, and 2013), and landed on the podium an additional five times with silver and bronze medals, including a bronze from the 2017 Europeans.
Kostner has competed at the Grand Prix Final four times, and won a medal each time. She owns two bronze, one silver, and one gold. She also owns dozen medals from the Grand Prix circuit.
Kostner owns seven Italian national titles: 2003, 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013 and 2017.
Kostner won a bronze medal at the 2003 World Junior Championships, climbing from 10th and 11th place the two years prior.
Kostner has been the first Italian female figure skater to reach many milestones, including:
- First Italian singles skater to win a medal at the world junior championships (bronze, 2003)
- First Italian woman to win a European title (2007)
- First Italian woman to win a world championship title (2012)
- First Italian singles skater to win an Olympic medal (bronze, 2014)
Kostner has competed in three Olympic Games. At the 2006 Torino Games, she was the flag bearer during the Opening Ceremony and finished in ninth place. At the 2010 Olympics, she finished 16th overall after falling three times in the free skate. It was there that she earned the nickname “Cadolina” – “cado” meaning “I fall” in Italian. She found redemption at the 2014 Olympics, where she stood on the podium for the first time and won a bronze medal.
Outside the rink
Kostner was banned from figure skating for 16-months for assisting then-boyfriend Alex Schwazer, the 2008 Olympic racewalking champion, cover up his doping. She ultimately served about a year, and sat out of the sport for two seasons following the 2014 Olympics. Kostner admitted she lied to drug testers who showed up at her home, looking for Schwazer, saying he was not in her home.
During her time off, she skated in shows to stay in shape. She also had the time to take an architecture class, art history classes, and classical ballet classes. She was able to spend more time with her family, as well.
Many members of Kostner’s family were elite athletes. Her mother, Patrizia, was a nationally ranked figure skater in the 1970s and her father, Erwin, played ice hockey for Italy at world championships and 1984 Olympic Games. She also has two brothers, Martin and Simon, who both play hockey.
Her cousin and godmother, Isolde Kostner, is a three-time Olympic medalist who competed in Alpine skiing at the 1994, 1998, and 2002 Olympic Games. Kostner says she is inspired by her godmother, who once told her that she will feel the moment when it is time to retire – but it hasn’t happened yet.
Kostner speaks several languages, including Italian, German, English, and French. She also speaks Ladinic, a dialect of Italian native to the mountainous region she grew up in.
“I was looking forward to spending some time with my family and friends. When you reach a goal in your life, sometimes you feel lost. Sometimes it’s easier to follow your goal and your dream than when you reach it. I experienced a moment where I wanted to reset my goals. I needed to find what my next step in my life should be and it took a little while.” – Carolina Kostner