Vera Zozuļa is probably the best ever Soviet luger and she was the first Latvian athlete to win gold at the Winter Olympics. As of 2009, she is the only non-German speaking winner of any Olympic luge event. Zozuļa made her first appearance at the Winter Olympics in 1976, placing ninth. Four years later at Lake Placid, Zozuļa was clearly the best slider, winning all four runs. She also competed at the 1984 Olympics, placing fifth. Zozuļa won a complete set of medals at the World Luge Championships – gold in 1978, silver in 1977, and bronze in 1981. At the European Luge Championships, she won two medals – gold in 1976 and bronze in 1978. She also won the women’s singles 1981-82 Luge World Cup title. Zozuļa won Soviet titles in 1975-76 and 1978 and was selected as the 1978 Latvian Athlete of the Year. After her sporting career Zozuļa worked as a luge coach in the Soviet Union, Latvia, and Poland. She was coach of the 1998 and 2002 Latvian Olympic teams, and was inducted into the International Luge Federation Hall of Fame in 2006.