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Simone Niggli-Luder
An image of Simone in 2006.
Simone Niggli-Luder in 2006.
Personal information
Nationality Switzerland
Born 9 January 1978 (1978-01-09) (age 43)
Burgdorf
Residence
Alma mater University of Bern
Years active 1988 - 2013
Sport
Sport Orienteering
Club OLV Hindelbank

Simone Niggli-Luder (born 9 January 1978) is a Swiss orienteering athlete who has twice won (in 2003 and 2005) all four women's competitions at the world championships. She is widely seen as one of the greatest orienteers of all time.

Personal life

Born as Simone Luder, she grew up in Burgdorf in the Canton of Bern. She studied biology at the University of Bern, where she graduated in 2003. That same year, she married Matthias Niggli, also a Swiss orienteering athlete. They currently live in Münsingen near Bern and in Ulricehamn, Sweden.

Orienteering Achievements

She began competing in orienteering early on, joining the Swiss club OLV Hindelbank; at the age of ten, she participated in her first competition. Since then, her palmarès has been impressive: she won a gold medal at the junior world championships in 1997, has been 20 times Swiss champion, won the Finnish championships once and the Swedish championships nine times, has won the world cup five times, and won seven gold medals at European championships and a total of 23 gold medals at world championships.

In 2003, she won all four women's competitions of the world championships held at Rapperswil in Switzerland (sprint, middle, and long distance, and— together with Birgitte Wolf and Vroni König-Salmi— the relay). She managed to repeat this extraordinary feat two years later at the world championships in Aichi, Japan.

World Orienteering Championships 2007 - middle distance 01
Simone Niggli-Luder and Marianne Andersen at World Orienteering Championships 2007
World Orienteering Championships 2007 - middle distance 04
Simone Niggli-Luder and Frenchman Thierry Gueorgiou, middle distance gold medalists, World Orienteering Championships 2007

At the European Championships in 2006 in Otepää, Estonia, she won gold in the sprint and long distance competitions, and finished fifth in the middle distance competition. The Swiss team finished second in the relay, beaten only by the Finnish team. At the world championships 2007 in Kiev, Ukraine, she again won gold on the middle and sprint distances and finished third on the long distance, behind two Finnish athletes who shared first place.

Niggli-Luder took time off from competitive orienteering in 2008 to give birth to her first child and again in 2011, twins. She made a successful return to the international orienteering scene in 2009 by winning bronze medals in the middle and sprint distances at the World Orienteering Championships in Miskolc, Hungary, and the gold medal in the long distance. At the World Championships 2013 at Vuokatti, Finland, she won all three single competitions (sprint, middle, and long distance) and finished third in the team relay event (together with Sara Luescher and Judith Wyder).

In 2001, she spent one year in Finland, running for the Finnish club Turun Suunnistajat, and won the Finnish championship. She ran for the Swedish club Ulricehamns OK after July 2003. In September 2013, Niggli-Luder announced that she was retiring from elite orienteering at the end of the year, after the last World Cup race in New Zealand. Niggli holds over 60 World Cup race victories.

World Championship results

Year
Age Long Middle Sprint Relay Sprint
Relay
1999 21 15 N/A N/A
2001 23 Gold 4 Bronze 4 N/A
2003 25 Gold Gold Gold Gold N/A
2004 26 4 6 Gold 4 N/A
2005 27 Gold Gold Gold Gold N/A
2006 28 Gold Gold Silver 3 N/A
2007 29 Bronze Gold Gold 4 N/A
2008 30 N/A
2009 31 Gold Bronze Bronze 4 N/A
2010 32 Gold Silver Gold 4 N/A
2011 33 N/A
2012 34 Gold 5 Gold Gold N/A
2013 35 Gold Gold Gold Bronze N/A
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