Blonde pin-up Neuner was the darling of German sport in 2008 and although injuries have blighted her fairytale rise, she is coming back into form for Vancouver.
Having been voted Germany’s sportswoman of the year in 2007, Neuner became the queen of biathlon after just two World Cup seasons and had won six world titles by the time she finished celebrating her 21st birthday.
She won the overall World Cup title in 2008 and it seemed the biathlon world lay at her feet.
But after her successful winters of 2007 and 2008, the bubble burst in 2009 after a bout of flu while a bacterial infection has hampered her pre-season training.
She struggled at the 2009 world championships, but still came away with a silver after Germany finished second in the relay.
Despite her setbacks, Neuner still did enough to end the season fourth in the overall World Cup rankings and finished second in the sprint discipline.
Born in the German alpine region of Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Neuner showed she was hitting form for Vancouver after winning the first 15km individual competition in Italy last week despite picking up three penalties on the shooting range.
The photogenic Neuner led a cleansweep for Germany in Antholz with teammate Kati Wilhelm second and Andrea Henkel third.
Her passions include knitting – making woolly hats is her speciality – and music – she plays the harp – with both hobbies inspired by family members.
But as a girl who knows how to handle a gun, she is also a licenced motorbike rider and regularly takes her father’s machine out for a spin.