At the young age of 30, Elena Runggaldier decided to end her sports career. The World Championships 2011 silver medalist participated in every single edition of the Ladies’ World Cup organized to date.
Coming from a family of athletes, the Bolzano-born Italian achieved her first international success as a teenager, winning bronze, silver and gold medals in the Junior World Championship competitions. She made her first appearance in the tournament in 2006, snatching up the bronze medal in Kranj at the age of 15. Two years later in Zakopane she won silver. Runggaldier went on to dominate the 2010 competition in Hinterzarten. A year later the ski jumper won the ladies’ competition at the Winter Universiade in Erzurum.
During her career, Runggaldier jumped in every women’s ski jumping event to take place as part of the FIS Nordic World Ski Championships. Her greatest achievement came in 2011 in Olso at Midtstubakken where she came second only to Daniela Iraschko-Stolz. The Italian also twice represented her country in the Winter Olympics – first in 2014 in Sochi, and four years later in Pyeongchang. She fared better in Russia where she finished 29th.
Between 2011 and 2020 the athlete regularly appeared in World Cup competitions. The winter of 2015/2016 proved to be best season yet – the Italian took 16th in the tournament’s final classification. During this time Runggaldier finished in the Top 10 as many as eight times, but failed to gain the podium. This changed in the 2012 mixed team event in Lillehammer where the Italian team, composed of Sebastian Colloredo, Andrea Morassi and Evelyn Insam alongside Runggaldier, finished third.
It’s worth noting that Runggaldier is a five-time Italian champion. She won her last gold medal in the Autumn of 2019 in Predazzo. In the prematurely ended season 2019/20 she gained 30 points, taking 34th place in the final classification.