German luge team
Won 105 straight World Cup events.
How do you describe women's luge? Easy. It's the sledding event that Germany always wins. Between Nov. 29, 1997, when Austria's Andrea Tagwerker finished first, and Feb. 12, 2011, when Canada's Alex Gough took the prize, a German woman captured each and every World Cup race. Yes, that's 13-plus years in the winner's circle, if you're keeping score. "For the longest time, the German dominance was thought to be unbreakable," says Wolfgang Staudinger, an assistant coach of that juggernaut until 2007. He now heads the Canadian team, whose star, Gough, watched for years as Germany's Silke Kraushaar, Sylke Otto and Barbara Niedernhuber (pictured left to right with their medals at the 2002 Winter Olympic Games) kept their homeland atop the luge world. "They swept the podium so many times," Gough says, incredulous. Clearly, she was inspired.