Verena Bentele is a blind German Paralympic biathlete and cross-country skier. She won her first Paralympic medals at the 1998 Winter Paralympics, followed by four gold medals at the 2002 Winter Paralympics, as well as two gold and one bronze medal at the 2006 Winter Paralympics She was also winner of the Combined World Cup in Biathlon und Cross-Country in 2006.
During the 2009 German blind cross country championship, Bentele had a serious accident. Her sighted guide failed to give proper directions, so she fell down a slope in a dry river bed. She tore a cruciate ligament in her knee, and suffered finger and liver injuries, and damaged one kidney so badly that it had to be removed.
Despite this, only a year later, Verena had her best Olympic result, winning 5 Gold Medals 2010 Winter Paralympics in the 2010 Vancouver Paralympics.
Verena has won the "Laureus World Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability" award for the year 2011. Late in 2011, she announced her retirement at the age of 29.