Ledecka Wins Gold
02/16/2018 22:29 ● Published by Deb Olsen
Image from http://www.ester-ledecka.cz
In beating Austrian Anna Veith by .01 of a second, Ledecká blazed a new Olympic trail, crushed Lindsey Vonn's comeback dreams, and did it all on borrowed skis.
Ledecká, a veteran of the Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club, was racing for the Czech Republic, her homeland. When she crossed the finish line and looked up at the scoreboard, seeing her own name in first place, she appeared stunned. She was skiing from the 26th position, a spot from which a winner rarely emerges.
Ledecká is not known for her abilities as an alpine racer; she is a world champion alpine snowboarder. When she comes out of the gate on the snowboard giant slalom course in a couple of days, she will become the first Olympic athlete to compete in both skiing and snowboarding during the same Games.
U.S. Olympic Team star Mikaela Shiffrin, who opted to sit out the Super-G in favor of training for the upcoming downhill race, loaned Ledecká her skis for the race. Commentators speculated that Shiffrin's skis may have been a factor in Ledecká's win. Wax and edges can make all the difference on a course as wind-swept as the one at the Olympic venue.