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Right Eberharter won giant slalom gold in the 2002 Winter Games in Salt Lake CityNAGANO 1998Silver: Giant slalomSALT LAKE CITY 2002Gold: Giant slalom Silver: Super-G Bronze: DownhillINTERVIEW: MICHAEL STONEMANMY GAMES STEPHAN EBERHARTERAFTER BURSTING ONTO THE ALPINE SKIING SCENE WITH TWO WORLD TITLES IN 1991, AUSTRIA'S STEPHAN EBERHARTER AGONISINGLY CRASHED OUT AT THE 1992 GAMES. INJURED IN 1994, HE BOUNCED BACK TO WIN GIANT SLALOM SILVER IN 1998 AND WENT ON TO CLAIM THREE OLYMPIC MEDALS IN SALT LAKE CITY FOUR YEARS LATERI've always handled pressure well so I slept well the day before my first Games in 1992. I was young, I was excited and I wanted to win - but I was struggling with my health and my fitness level. I competed in the combined and failed. Then I injured myself training in the super-G, so those Games were over for me. It's always disappointing to not reach your goals, but I said to myself: "You're young, you have many years to compete and show your talent."I missed Lillehammer in 1994 because of injury, but I knew there would be another chance in the next few years to come back and be part of the Olympic family again.I had a very long period when things did not go the way I would have liked and I was injured for many years. But then in 1998 I had a great year. I had good results in the World Cup and qualified for the Olympic team. Nagano was very special. I won silver behind Hermann Maier, who was the best racer at that time. It was a great experience for me to start at zero and then go on to win an Olympic medal.In 2002, I had big expectations going to Salt Lake City because I'd had a great year in the World Cup. I was the big favourite for the downhill and everyone was saying that the gold medal was mine. I had won five World Cups that year and thought I had a chance. On race day Fritz Strobl won, and I came third.Then I had a good chance in the super-G, but I made a big mistake and came second by one tenth of a second. I needed a day to get over it, to work it out in my head. Fortunately, we moved over to Park City for the giant slalom, which helped me shed all the bad feelings from the previous events.I felt great on my skis after that. I skied almost perfectly! It was such a good feeling, so I started to believe there might be another chance for gold. I said to myself, "Now you must risk everything. It doesn't matter if you fall - just give everything you have. You have to do that because the others will." And it all worked out for me.You can't make a movie like that. Third place, second place and then, with my last chance, I won the gold. It was my last event in an Olympic Games and I was not one of the favourites, but I won. Then the world was great. I will never forget those emotions.74 OLYMPIC REVIEW MY GAMES