Czech Republic's Ester Ledecka makes Winter Olympic history


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.

Ter Mors and Ledecka, who was the first woman to compete in snowboarding and skiing in the same Olympics, nevertheless have upended the belief, propagated in modern-day youth sports in the United States and elsewhere, that early specialization is the one clear path to the Olympic podium.

Ester Ledecka confirmed her position as the snow queen of these Winter Olympics - in fact, arguably, any Winter Games - with a supreme victory in the snowboard parallel giant slalom on Saturday.

Having swapped skis for snowboard, the 22-year-old followed that up with an emphatic win in the women's PGS, holding off Germany's Selina Yoerg in the big final.

At the conclusion of her events, Ledecka thanked her team and family for the support which helped her reach the highest levels in both events. In a world where athletes focus on their discipline with religious fervour, she has the gift to remain world class while dividing her attention.

A bronze medalist in the super-G at the 2010 Olympics, Vonn finished tied for sixth in the event last week. "After the super-G, a lot of people were coming and saying, "Congratulations, congratulations, congratulations". It was so nice".

"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. So while I am very happy for me, it's another race, another great race. Without them I couldn't really be here.

"I was thinking OK they're going to change the time, I'm going to wait for a little bit and they're going to switch and put some seconds on". I had quite a hard time now.

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"But today suddenly the snowboarder girl showed up and I was just riding with confidence and enjoying the race". "That I could just hop from sport to sport".

Ledecka's the talk of Czech House, which has become a gathering place for athletes and fans from all over the world, given its proximity to the Olympic village.

She had been considered a favorite for gold in snowboarding after being the top-ranked woman on the circuit, but hadn't come even close to that success in skiing.

"We did the best that we could to try to shelter her from you guys picking her bones clean".

When coaches counseled her to choose one or the other, she held her ground. "Obviously, it's not easy". "My plan is to stay with my heart, so for now I think I will do both because I love both", she said.

Ledecka dominated from the outset, setting the fastest time in qualifying.

"She knows what happened". "I think the world is looking to Ester now".