Austrian skier Anna Fenninger was one of the big winners in Sochi on Saturday, taking gold in the women's super-G for her first Olympic medal. Yet the 24-year-old wasn't skiing just for her own success — Fenninger also performs to bring attention to cheetahs in danger.
[Photos: Off-duty Olympians]
This is most obvious on the slopes, where Fenninger dons a cheetah-print helmet — which you can check out in most photos from her Olympic run, including the one above — but it extends to many aspects of her public life. In December, Fenninger released a 2014 cheetah-centric calendar in partnership with the Cheetah Conservation Fund, an organization based in Namibia. Here's a video from the shoot:
You can check out a few photos from the calendar in the Fenninger slideshow linked from the photo above, or order it at the link here. While the cost is pretty steep, all net income from the project goes to the CCF, so it's for a good cause.
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The calendar is an extension of Fenninger's prior work with cheetahs, which extend to a fairly risque (though generally safe-for-work) photoshoot in a cheetah-print body suit and various other charitable endeavors.
As detailed on the CCF's website, cheetahs have become an endangered species due to changes in land use and habitat. As the world's fastest land animal, cheetahs depend on large open areas in order to catch their prey. With increased development in Namibia beginning in the 1980s, the cheetah lost that space and saw its numbers dwindle to roughly 2500 animals. The CCF has helped to stabilize the population and educates humans (especially farmers) about the problem.
After her performance in the super-G, Fenninger is going to get a lot of attention for her skiing, but it's pretty cool that she'll also help save some animals in need of help.
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