ROSA KHUTOR, Russia Feb 14 While biathletes in Sochi are hoping the Olympics can lift their sport's profile to new heights, German Miriam Goessner's decision to pose naked for Playboy has given the ski-shoot event exposure of an entirely different nature.
Goessner, who missed the Sochi Games due to a back injury suffered in a bicycle accident last year, appears on the cover of Thursday's edition of Playboy in Germany.
"Missing the Olympics was one of the toughest moments of my life," Goessner, who has three World Cup victories to her name, told the magazine.
"I wanted to show another side of myself and I think it's a great success. Female athletes are only known in their race apparel and training clothing, it's not very feminine."
Goessner is the girlfriend of slalom specialist Felix Neureuther, who had a minor car accident on his way to the airport from where he was due to fly to the Sochi Games on Friday.
Goessner, who was in the car with Neureuther, said her boyfriend liked the photos.
"At least that's what he said," Goessner told Playboy.
French biathlete Martin Fourcade, who won two gold medals at the Sochi Games, posted one of Goessner's pictures on his Twitter account, saying: "Happy to see that your spine is better." (Additional reporting by Annika Breidthardt; Editing by Peter Rutherford/Mitch Phillips)