Skiing - the best woman of all time Janica Kostelić
To become a top skier, you need money and snow. She didn't have one or the other.https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Janica_Kosteli%C4%87
Most famous quote: “It seems the more difficult the conditions, the better I do.”
Even though I am a Croat (local-patriotism bias alert) I think she is the right choice for this sport. She had that true championship mentality and perseverance that is hard to find anywhere else.
I have seen her win at 14 in junior competition.
I have seen her win at 17 in senior competition.
I have seen her race without the stick - she finished 2nd that one. I guess she didn't want to disappoint the home crowd.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iOffj-h7-RE
I have seen her comeback each time after 10 knee operations. Better, hungrier still golden.
I have heard her brother, a world champion in skiing as well,
saying that she is on a different level than he is skiwise.
I have never seen her complain about anything - whether it is a loss, Croatia's poor standing in the FIS decisions, unperfect conditions or severe injuries.
Even though basketball player Dražen Petrović, is much more fabled than she is and almost all Europeans (not just Croats IMO) have a soft spot for him, I think there is a consensus in my country that she is the best Croatian athlete of all time. Also a product of our independent state (her father TBH), not Yugoslavian sports system. Born in a land without a real ski track, without skiing tradition, without money, her career and success are truly astonishing.
English trailer from the documentary about her and her family:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rzHgeY-uu7I