PYEONGCHANG, South Korea — Ester Ledecka won gold in parallel giant slalom snowboarding Saturday afternoon, completing an unprecedented Olympics in which she medaled in two different sports.
The 22-year-old Ledecka previously won Super-G alpine skiing gold in a monumental upset. Her snowboarding medal at the PyeongChang Games wasn’t nearly as surprising, as Ledecka has been an elite racer for the last five years.
To medal in PGS, in which racers carve through a course side by side, Ledecka needed to survive two qualifying runs and four more races. She sailed through to the finals, in which she beat Germany’s Solena Joerg.
Ledecka, who is from the Czech Republic and has trained in the United States, became the first winter athlete to medal in different sports at the same Olympics
“She is the hardest-working athlete I’ve ever met,” said American PGS racer Mike Trapp, who trains with Ledecka. “Every day, it doesn’t matter – rain, snow, shine, 10 feet of powder, if it’s rain and slick ice – she’s going to put forth 100 percent of effort every day. If she doesn’t come out with the fastest runs, she’s mad about it.
“She wants to win every run. There’s not one run that’s like, ‘I’ll take this one at 50 percent.’ Every run is, ‘We’re going full gas. And that’s it.’ ”
Watch Ledecka’s win in the Super-G that not even the announcers could believe:
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