Winter Olympics: Ester Ledecka - the snowboarder who won gold on borrowed skis

Lindsey Vonn

Winter Olympics: Ester Ledecka - the snowboarder who won gold on borrowed skis

Every bit as capable on two planks as one, Ledecka unleashed a barrage of speed on the Super-G course at Jeongseon Alpine Centre to unseat reigning gold medalist Anna Veith by a.01-second margin that left Ledecka practically paralysed with confusion.

But it was perhaps Vonn who summed it up best, saying: "I wish I had as much athleticism as she has to hop from sport to sport and win everything". Four years ago, she had also represented the Czech Republic at the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Not only did her mother figure skate, but her grandfather was also a two-time Olympic medalist.

The United States' Lindsey Vonn, the Vancouver 2010 downhill gold medallist and super-G bronze medallist, made a mistake late in her run and finished joint sixth with Italy's Federica Brignone.

One remarkable aspect of her wholly unexpected victory is that it came on a pair of skis previously owned by the USA's Mikaela Shiffrin, who had dropped out of the super-G competition.

The super-G competition that Ester took a hold of is one of the more technical of the alpine skiing's speed disciplines and Ester's unexpected victory is giving her a chance to obtain a ski-snowboard double when she goes on to compete in the parallel giant slalom competition on February 22.

Vonn was 0.38 seconds adrift of the victor in her first Olympic race in eight years. The look of confusion that washed across the 22-year-old Czech's face as she looked up at her winning time will endure as one of these Olympics' most memorable images.

"It was great", Ledecka said in a transcript, according to NPR. But unfortunately, I'm only good at ski racing - and she still beat me.

When the Norwegian took to the slope for the second run, he raced down in the fastest time in an impressive display of aggressive skiing, 0.04sec faster than Hirscher's leg. "But I really didn't expect I would be sitting here".

Ledecka said her fellow racers could barely hide their shock.

Ski Sunday commentator Ed Leigh: "It's like being great at badminton and tennis". "She will focus entirely on the task without giving through to the result, the gold medal".

Lukas missed his former pupil's medal-winning run and assumed she had won gold in her preferred sport of snowboarding.

"Her parents supported her, her grandparents supported her - they would stand for long hours at the foot of the slopes", Lukas told Reuters in a telephone interview. It's historically very challenging to race on World Cup with a family or after being married.

But "further in the front" and Olympic gold are two different stratospheres.

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