Ester Ledecka seals status as Winter Olympics snow queen with double gold

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Ester Ledecka of the Czech Republic won the snowboard women's parallel giant slalom title and became the first person to win gold in two sports at a single Winter Olympics at the PyeongChang Games on Saturday.

Ledecka, who is unquestionably the biggest star of these Olympics, became not only the first athlete to compete in skiing and snowboarding in the same Games, but the first woman to win gold in each discipline.

Ledecka said her biggest goal coming to South Korea had been simply to race in both Alpine skiing and snowboarding and that the two gold medals were a "huge bonus" that she thought would perhaps come later in her career. "A lot of people were telling me that it is not possible to do both sports and to be on a high level in both sports and today I proved it is possible", she said. Ledecka finished first in the women's super-G in Alpine skiing, finishing several spots ahead of the decorated American skier Lindsey Vonn.

So unprepared was she for skiing success that this daughter of a famous Czech musician turned up to her press conference wearing goggles because, in her own words, "I don't have any make up on". "I've never really been good at anything but racing", she said.

"I have worked so hard to be here, on the podium", the 30-year-old said. 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 challenge of her switch was not lost on Ledecka.

It was the third bronze for Canada to go with nine gold medals for the country that created hockey, not that the Canadians seemed to mind much when the buzzer sounded.

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With Saturday's gold, Ledecak joined Norwegians Thorleif Haug and Johan Groettumsbraten as the only athletes to do a multi-sport double in the same Olympic Games.

"I'll get home and lie in bed and maybe sleep for a while", she said. "That I could just hop from sport to sport". Regardless of conditions -rain, shine, powder, slick ice - she gives maximum effort, and she finds a joy in the training.

"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". When she looked up at the scoreboard and saw the time, she froze.

"Yeah, you'll have to get used to it", she said with a laugh.

He was followed by Russian athlete Alexander Bolshunov, who ended 18.7 seconds behind. Winning two golds is one thing, but winning a gold medal on someone else's gear? "If she had absorbed all the energy from the super-G and just checked off the Olympic medal, we would be having a different conversation today", he said.

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