Published: Mon, February 26, 2018
Sports | By Brett Lawson

Winter Olympics 2018: The Two Esters come together to make history

Winter Olympics 2018: The Two Esters come together to make history

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.

Racing from 26th place in the super-G and with the event having already been called by one broadcaster, the 22-year-old stunned the crowd to win by 0.01 seconds.

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 don't feel like that but it sounds good, for sure", said Ledecka after her stunning win.

"I felt it was a mistake", she said afterward.

But in the week between her gold medal run on skis and her qualifying race on a snowboard, Ledecka got nudged out by Jorien ter Mors of the Netherlands, who earned gold in the 1,000 meters in long-track speedskating and added a bronze in the 3,000-meter relay in short-track.

As was the case following her super-G victory, the Czech conducted her post-race interviews while wearing her goggles.

"She is quite young and she can do both sports in the next years", predicted the German. "I've never really been good at anything but racing", she said.

Ledecka revealed that it felt odd to go back-and-forth between the snowboard and skis.

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"And I said, 'No, I want to go in both and if it matters to you that I do both, then I need to choose another coach because this is the way I will do it'". Two other athletes have won multi-sport gold medals at the Winter Olympics - Finland's Heikki Hasu won the Nordic combined title in 1948 and cross country four years later, while Russian Anfisa Reztsova bagged cross country gold in 1988 and biathlon titles in 1992 and 1994.

A bronze medalist in the super-G at the 2010 Olympics, Vonn finished tied for sixth in the event last week.

The two-time world champion qualified more than a second ahead of her rivals and looked serene throughout the knockout rounds.

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. But she had different plans this time.

"The micro-adjustments are huge", Reiter said. I was just standing there and suddenly the snowboard girl comes in.

"There are the greatest athletes in the world here", she told reporters.

Probably not at the fast-food chicken joint she was spotted at, casually enjoying dinner on the night of her first gold medal. "She is an incredible person, once in a lifetime, and she has got a great heart and head, she is an incredible human being", he said.

Ledecka started skiing aged two and snowboarding at five, but only started on the skiing circuit in 2016.

"It's impossible", Reiter said, when asked to put the magnitude of the achievement into perspective.

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