'Wave-like on top of the world' - this might be a good phrase to describe Anke Karstens as the 1985 born race boarder is ambitious and self-critical enough to achieve her self-defined goals.
In addition, the police constable has kept a fruitful realism to stay with both feed on the ground – although she already brought home a few top results in her career.
That this could be the appropriate method for the strong rider reveals a glimpse on her snowboarding vita.
Inspired by her brother Björn, Karstens started snowboarding enjoying her first turns in Berchtesgaden aged eleven.
The Bavarian sticked to it as she not only liked what she was doing, but also noticed that she could start a successful career out of it. And she was right although the fifth ranked of the 2010 Olympic PGS had to accept some ups and downs on her way to the world’s top.
After competing in mandatory FIS races and European Cups, she celebrated a first real success in 2004 finishing as runner-up at the PGS National Championships.
But the SG Snowboard team rider had still a lot to learn. Until the turn of the year 2007/2008, her first complete World Cup season, she missed the knock out duels of the top-16 in all of her four starts. But instead of burying her head in the sand she let out her frustration positively.
In the first race after New Year’s Eve, the carving ass with the uncommon hobby of crocheting and knitting beanies stormed on her first World Cup podium placing second in Bad Gastein, Austria.
The switch was flicked; the appetite was whetted and could be satisfied; at first. Until the end of the season, four more top-10 results followed as well as her so far biggest international triumph: her first victory at the World Cup finals held in Valmalenco (ITA).
Karstens was able to keep hold to the momentum during the summer break thus securing another podium finish as third in Limone Piemonte (ITA) the next winter. But then, she had to deal with another career’s downward trend.
In the 15 World Cups held between January 2009 and the Olympics in Vancouver 2010, the downright athlete, who calls herself a little bit too talk active, missed the KO finals seven times. In addition, she never survived the eight finals, even when she had posted a top qualifier time.
However, the three-time World Championships participant didn’t bounce back but showed some real fighting spirit thus rewarding herself with the fifth rank at the last Winter Games.
Pushed by this great result, she brought home three more World Cup podiums over the past years, two Bronze from Carezza (2011 and 2012) plus her career's second win at La Molina (2013).
It seems, those days of ups and downs could be over for the oldest female racer in the German national squad, especially as her biggest dream came true at the 2014 Olympics in Sochi with a medal win (Silver) in the Parallel Slalom event.