Two-sport athlete Ester Ledecka surprise gold medalist in her second-best sport

Ester Ledecka

Two-sport athlete Ester Ledecka surprise gold medalist in her second-best sport

Ledecka is skipping the downhill here to prepare for Thursday's snowboarding parallel giant slalom.

She's now an Olympic champion. Ski poles raised, and sometimes twirled. The crowd, disbelieving, yelled and stared at Ledecka, encouraging her to emote.

"The thing with this hill is it's not very steep", she said later. So Ledecka did ... nothing.

She said, "I did the best I could". "OK, they're going to change the time".

What to many in the haughty skiing world felt like a gimmick - the best parallel snowboard racer in the world trying to become the first athlete ever to compete in snowboard and ski races at the same Winter Games - birthed something far more historic.

And Switzerland's Mathilde Gremaud took Olympic freestyle silver in the women's ski slopestyle on Saturday, just a day after being taken to hospital after a concussion scare.

Ledecka has a ways to go to catch Ledecky, who has five Olympic swimming gold medals. "And she does both easily".

American Lindsey Vonn, who went out first but made a mistake before the final jump and finished sixth, was stunned along with the rest of her rivals.

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Well...after 8 years of waiting I finally get a chance to compete in the Olympics again. This is weird, period.

"I am so surprised about all of it". "And it didn't quite turn out the way I'd hoped".

For starters, it's exceedingly hard to overstate the difference between snowboarding and skiing - in function, for sure, but in style and mindset and upbringing as well.

Ledecka's versatility could be a result of her genes, as she hails from a successful sporting family. People laughed. But really, that's the extent of it.

Ester Ledecka celebrates her shocking victory. She is a three-time world championships medalist in super-G, most recently a bronze in 2015 when the world championships were held at Beaver Creek.

She is due to race the downhill on Wednesday, and the Alpine Combined on Friday. And once it's locked, it's completely automatized.

Then came Saturday, when the world tried to measure the difficulty of what she had done and still couldn't comprehend it. She had only one career top-10 on the World Cup circuit, finishing in seventh in the downhill two months ago in Lake Louise, Alberta.

Eight seconds later she was in the finish area, grabbing her head in frustration.

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It was a fairy tale at the women's super-G in Pyeongchang - but not for Lindsey Vonn.

"These Olympics are about bringing different countries together to compete in a spirit of friendship". Or the Olympics, period. A grateful Ledecka thanked fans on her Facecbook page, which swelled with more than 30,000 "likes" and 2,700 shares after herwin over Austria's Anna Veith.

When Ledecka came to each split - where the skiers are measured in how they relate to the leader's run - the numbers were displayed on the giant scoreboard at the foot of the hill.

Wait. Ledecka was outpacing Veith?

"From skiing for snowboard, I take the fast speed, I'm not afraid of the speed". Veith had skied in 1:21.12. U think there is a connection between that and u losing? I do.

She had never placed higher than 29th. But the fact that she was so close despite that mistake underscored that she probably would have won the race without it.

When it comes to the Olympics, there's usually one or two athletes that are favored to win a given event. "I know that she can take a lot of risks". Hanyu's gold was Japan's first in PyeongChang and also the 1,000th gold medal since the Winter Games began in 1924.

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