Ledecka makes history with double gold in skiing and snowboarding
- Author: Carlos Nash Mar 01, 2018,
Mar 01, 2018, 7:30
This, coupled with the gold she had already won in the super-G in alpine skiing made her the first female to win gold in two different sports at the winter Olympic Games and just the fifth athlete overall to do so.
The 22-year-old world champion became the first woman to capture gold medals in different sports at the same Winter Games after beating German Selina Joerg by nearly half a second in the final.
"It was a great day", Ledecka said Saturday.
"It's a great thing that I can be here in both sports and enjoy both sports here in [the Republic of] Korea".
With Saturday's win, Ledecka joins Thorleif Haug and Johan Groettumsbraten as the only athletes to achieve a multi-sport double at the Winter Games. The sporting polymath - she is also a brilliant windsurfer - emphatically proved otherwise. "It's really satisfying that I could be here competing in both events and winning in both", added Ledecka.
It is a tough schedule but one she intends to continue with.
There is the persona she calls "Ester the skier" and there is "Ester the snowboarder". "I was dreaming about this moment since I was a little child", said Ledecka in an interview with the New York Times.
"I just feel good in my bubble and focus on myself, my riding and I think it helps me".
Gold medalist Ester Ledecka of the Czech Republic is flanked by silver medalist Anna Veith of Austria, left, and bronze medalist Tina Weirather of Lichtenstein after the ladies' super-G event in Jeongseon, South Korea, on Friday, Feb. 17, 2018.More news: Samsung Galaxy Tab S4 specifications leaked ahead of MWC 2018 launch
As President Donald Trump's daughter Ivanka descended on the Games in Pyeongchang, world champion Ledecka reigned supreme with a confident victory in the women's parallel giant slalom. But, as the last two weeks have shown, Ledecka isn't just any other athlete.
Skiing and snowboarding are very different pursuits, requiring different skills, different senses of balance, but she saw a fundamental similarity. "It was so nice", an ecstatic Ledecka said after claiming gold at the podium, via the official website of the 2018 Winter Olympics.
"I realized that was really inhibiting what we were doing in that the more I wanted her to find that medal, I really stifled what could be".
Vonn, 33, is heartened by the example that Ledecka is setting. Skiing is supposed to be her weaker sport.
But the athlete herself remained level headed in the immediate aftermath of her remarkable triumph.
She had posted the fastest time in morning qualifying in the event, which sees snowboarders go head-to-head in a series of knockout races. "I think she definitely will have a long-lasting impact".
Justin Reiter is Ledeckas snowboarding coach.
"It was much burden during the last week", she said.