Antje Misersky Harvey

Antje Harvey, an Olympic biathlete who won a gold medal in the 1992 games, poses for a photo at her home in Heber City on Friday, June 1, 2012. As a German native, she was recently inducted into the Germany Sports Hall of Fame. (Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)

Olympian honored for refusing to take steroids, living with integrity

An Olympic gold medal would seem to be the absolute pinnacle of an athletes career. But German biathlete Antje Misersky Harvey recently added another monumental achievement; induction into the German Sports Hall of Fame.

Currently living in Heber City, Utah, the German native Sister Harvey traveled to Berlin with her family to receive the award on May 25. Held at the historic hotel, the Adlon, Sister Harvey was joined in the Hall of Fame award by her father, Henrich Misersky, and two other athletes who not only excelled in athleticism, but who each triumphed over some test of character within their sport.

Sister Harvey’s trial came as a youth during the Cold War when Germany was divided between the democratic West and communistic East. Though she is known for competing in biathlon during the 1992 Olympics, Sister Harvey found her first passion and talent in cross-country skiing. At 16 years old she made it to the Junior World Championships on Germany’s national team, where she did very well. But for the controlling government of East Germany, it wasn’t good enough.

While she was a member of the German team, coaches ordered athletes to take a pill nightly. While they were not told explicitly as to what the pill contained, Sister Harvey knew it was a type of steroid. Aware of the potential side effects the drug could create, as well as the unfair competitive advantage; she refused. Since she broke team rules by not taking the pill, she was not allowed to be on the team. But that she is celebrated as one of Germany’s best athletes, it’s safe to say she made the right stand.

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