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Maier, Hermann

Just two years after leaving his job as a bricklayer to join the Austrian national ski team, Hermann Maier stormed into the Winter Olympic Games in February 1998 at Nagano, Japan. His astonishing rise to the heights of his sport, along with the power and size that put him there, had earned him the nicknames "Monster," "Beast," and "Herminator." Despite a harrowing spill that had the potential to inflict a career-threatening injury, Maier stuck with his gutsy, straight-ahead style and emerged from the Olympic Games with two gold medals.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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