Ester Ledecka adds gold in snowboard to gold on skis

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USA TODAY Sports



PYEONGCHANG, South Korea — Ester Ledecka of the Czech Republic keeps making history at the Pyeongchang Olympics. The first athlete to compete in both Alpine skiing and snowboarding in the same Olympics now is an Olympic champ in both.

The shocking gold medalist in the super-G on skis last week added a gold medal in snowboard Saturday in the parallel giant slalom, her best event.

After four runs of qualifying, quarterfinals and semifinals, Ledecka, 22, outraced Selina Joerg of Germany in the two-woman final, winning by .46 seconds, a much more comfortable margin than the .01-second edge in the super-G race that left her staring at the clock in shock.

This time, it was no surprise. Ledecka crossed the line and simply pumped her fist, then offered a long congratulatory hug to Joerg.

“I was just standing there, and suddenly, the snowboard girl shows (up) and I was just riding with confidence and enjoying the race and having fun,” Ledecka said.

Ramona Theresia Hofmeister of Germany took the bronze.

Ledecka’s win on skis was among the most shocking moments of these Games … maybe of any Games. The race already had been called for the most part, and from the a position well after all the projected contenders had gone she skied past the three presumed medalists.

Ledecka has won Alpine snowboarding’s overall World Cup title each of the past two seasons, and she is the reigning world champion in parallel giant slalom.

“Oh, no, it’s impossible,” said Ledecka’s snowboard coach, Justin Reiter. “You can go grab Teddy Ligety, go grab Lindsey Vonn, go grab Mikaela (Shiffrin), grab whoever you want, give ‘em two years and tell them to come out and race us, and we’ll see what happens.

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“What happened here was once-in-a-lifetime,” Reiter said.

 

 




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