When she was a kid growing up in East Germany, she attended a school for athletically gifted children. Is that, like, the jock equivalent of being a nerd? Well, whatever. She trained like a fiend and got onto a major podium for the first time in 1982, and so began her reign of dominance. She won gold at every East German Championships from 1981-88, every European Championships from 1983-88, and at four World Championships from 1984-88. She won Olympic gold in 1984 and then defended her title in 1988.
After winning freaking EVERYTHING in 1988 (seriously, I'm not even exaggerating), Katarina went pro, which was super rare for an East German athlete back then. Y'know, socialism and all. She toured with several shows, even selling out Madison Square Garden for her show with Brian Boitano, and acted in the film Carmen on Ice, which she received an Emmy Award for. Hah. For real.
Katarina made a comeback to competitive skating in 1994 and managed to qualify for her third Olympics, where she placed seventh. Not bad for someone who'd been out of the game for six years!