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On the 6th of January 1990, the German Dieter Thoma wins the 38th Four Hills Tournament. 24 hours later the Schlierenzauer-family’s offspring is born. Gregor, 52 centimeters tall and weighing 3.43 kilograms at birth, got into ski jumping via playing football, which he starts at the age of 9. At the age of 14, he takes his place next to Bernadette Schild, Tina Weirather and Mario Innauer at the Stamser elite secondary school for ski professionals. In 2006, Gregor’s athletic career begins to take shape with an early breakthrough.

It goes like this: First, the Stubaier is crowned Junior World Champion in Kranj, then he gives his World Cup debut in Oslo, which he finishes 24th and thus he immediately jumps up in the ranks. Three jumping contests and 9 months later, the 16-year-old lands his first World Cup victory in Lillehammer. Five months later, Gregor Schlierenzauer is crowned Team World Champion for the first time.
In 2006 and 2007, more titles follow, this time in ski flying competitions. The Tyrolean wins gold at the World Championships in Oberstdorf in the individual competition and wins again with the team, pushing the national record in Planica to new heights, 233.5 meters to be precise.
In the season 2008/09, Gregor Schlierenzauer wins 6 World Cup competitions in a row, and finishes again as Team World Champion and runner-up World Champion. Three days after his 19th birthday he participates at the Kulm and sets a new hill record with 215.5 meters. 

Gregor also achieves a record with a total 2,083 points from 27 jumps and thus gains the overall victory in the World Cup 08/09. In the following season, the still 19-year-old celebrates his 26th World Cup victory on 19 December 2009 in Engelberg, crowning him the Austrian record holder.

The 2010 Olympic Games in Vancouver bring 3 medals, bronze and team gold twice, then a knee injury intervenes, resulting in entering the season 10/11 late. The overall World Cup is thus out of reach, but he smashes the national record instead, pushing it to 243.5 meters. 
On the 3rd of March 2011, the Tyrolean wins his first individual gold medal at the Nordic World Ski Championships at the Holmenkollen, the first Austrian to win in 24 years. What follows is the title on the small hill and the one together with the team crowning the 21-year-old in Oslo, the Nordic Mecca and Tollhaus, 3-time World Champion.

The day before his 22nd birthday Gregor Schlierenzauer triumphs for the first time at the Four Hills Tournament. On the 4th of February 2012, he outclasses Adam Malysz in the all-time best leaderboard; the victory in Val di Fiemme is Gregor's 40th World Cup win.

The hunger for victories remains though, the season 2012/13 is another case of superlatives. A successful title defense at the Four Hills Tournament, victory in the overall World Cup and sole leader in the all-time best leaderboard of overall World Cup victories. At 23 years and with 47 victories, the Austrian takes over the reign from Matti Nykänen. To date, Gregor has won 53 World Cups.
In season 2013/14, three more silver World Championship medals are added to his collection. Gregor Schlierenzauer is the runner-up at both, the Olympics in Sotschi together with the team and, as an individualist, at the 2015 World Championships in Falun.

At the beginning of the season 2015/16, after all these years at the top, Gregor runs out of steam. In January 2016, Gregor decides not to participate in the Ski Flying World Championships at the Kulm and to take a break from the World Cup for an indefinite period. In March 2016, he was injured whilst being on an alpine skiing trip in Canada. The diagnosis: a cruciate ligament rupture. Whether he will ever be able to ski again is, at this moment, on a knife’s edge.

Gregor begins to reflect. He is asking himself the question of meaning.

And decides: Yes, it was totally worth to have gone this path and I will carry on doing what I love. 

After this challenging time, he announces his return for mid-January 2017, as part of the competitions in Wisła. Gregor suffers a setback: He falls at 206m while ski flying in Oberstdorf and the season seems over after only 4 weeks. However, Gregor continues to work consistently and makes it back into the team for the World Cup in Lahti. Moreover, he wins the bronze medal with the team, meaning he has won a medal at every major event since.

Unfortunately, the season 2017/18 starts with an injury. This time a sideband tear. Gregor finally returns in December and joins the World Cup team but it is a season full of difficulties. On the plus side: Lots of fun at the ski jumping event resulting in a 4th place with the Austrian team at the Winter Games in South Korea and a world record of 253.5m on the penultimate day of the season in Planica.

Gregor has realized that living a fulfilling life, means enjoying and accepting both, the good times and the more challenging days.

Today, he knows that overcoming the challenging days is one of his greatest victories, and that they set change in motion.

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