Culture&Arts

Olympics: Possibilities are limitless for reluctant superstar Ledecka

Olympics: Possibilities are limitless for reluctant superstar Ledecka

Ester Ledecka made Winter Olympic history when she claimed her second gold medal of the event in the Women's Snowboard Parallel Giant Slalom on Saturday.

This Saturday's win came nearly a week after Ledecka stunned a strong field including defending champion Anna Veith and American Lindsey Vonn to win the super-G, which already made her one of the big stories of these Games.

"I was dreaming about this moment since I was a little child", said Ledecka, whose margin of victory in her six runs was at least four-tenths of a second. A rare breed of double threat, Ledecka proved that she could run with anyone in any discipline every time she strapped up.

She is the fifth athlete to win in two sports at one Games and the first in unrelated events with the previous double wins coming in Nordic events.

Ledecka's success in the super-G was a huge shock as she upstaged defending champion Anna Veith by 0.01 seconds and Lindsey Vonn finished sixth.

The Czech admitted it had been hard to adjust to her primary sport after the whirlwind that followed last week's triumph on skis. But perhaps the best pure athletic achievement of these Olympics - and one of the most impressive feats in Olympic history, actually - could occur on Saturday afternoon at the Phoenix Snow Park in PyeongChang.

The win changed everything for the daughter of Janek Ledecky, one of the Czech Republic's most well-known composers.

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Justin Reiter, the snowboard coach who came on board this season after ending his own career, said he learned pretty early on not to try and stifle Ledecka's ambition.

"I can push myself further and there are still mistakes in skiing and snowboarding and I want to improve myself", she said.

"She didn't just specify Alpine skiing in her sports repertoire when she was 8 years old because she wanted to be an Olympic champion", Shiffrin said.

A quarter-final victory over Daniela Ulbing was followed by a semi-final win against Hofmeister, who had pushed her all the way before stumbling.

"I was screaming and crying when she came down and won that gold", she said. This year she focused on her health and now has two gold medals to show for it. "That I could just hop from sport to sport". She said she did not feel good with her snowboarding here until the day before competition.

"When she comes back from snowboarding she always goes too round and when she comes back from skiing she always goes too straight so it's always back and forth with the line".

Whenever Ledecka returns from her skiing exploits, Reiter said, it is akin to having to polish a rough diamond all over again. Her reason for doing so was just as it was seven days ago: she did not have time to put on make-up.


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