Barbara Niedernhuber was often called “the eternal runner-up” as, besides her double silver at the 1998 and 2002 Winter Olympics, she was also runner-up at the World Championships in 1999, 2000, 2004 and 2005, placing third in 2001 and 2003, along with third places at the 2000 and 2002 European Championships. In 2005 Niedernhuber won the overall World Cup title. Niedernhuber, Sylke Otto, and Silke Kraushaar dominated international luge in the late 1990s and early 2000s. In 2006 Niedernhuber abruptly retired prior to the start of the season due to a bacterial infection in her ankle that developed after surgery the previous summer. After her active career she joined the German police.