Czech skier pulls off huge upset to win gold

Czech skier pulls off huge upset to win gold

Ledecka, though, has a chance to take that achievement to the next level.

In the second week at the Olympics, Ledecka shifts her focus from Alpine skiing to the snowboarding events. "I thought it must be some mistake... they're going to switch the time for some others".

Ester Ledecka's day - and probably her life - had just taken a surreal turn. "This is the first thing that went through my mind", said the victor... who had kept his ski goggles in the name of its sponsor in order to face the journalists. But Ledecka thus becomes the first Czech gold of the winter olympic alpine skiing.

When Ledecka's time flashed up on the scoreboard, the usually raucous crowds at the foot of the course were reduced to a stunned silence.

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".

Ledecka, you see, has made her name as a snowboarder. Ledecka, a world champion on a snowboard but a relative novice on two skis, did not move... Double world champion (slalom and giant parallel) as a junior in 2013, it was confirmed later in the large with the world's gold in parallel slalom (2015) and in parallel giant (2017).

Ledecka honed her craft well in Colorado. In fact, if she were to win gold in the parallel giant slalom she'd be the first woman to win gold in two different disciplines in the same Winter Olympics. She has done better in downhill than in Super-G on the circuit. "It's an Olympic medal and after my [2015 knee] injury, I'm so happy that I'm in this situation, that I can ski fast", she said. "But my snowboard coach wants me on snowboard". "I just about can't believe it!"

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"I don't really think I've got the talent, I've just got on with it since I was a little child and throughout my career I've had luck in meeting good people, and I have a great team".

Ledecka is far from finished at the Olympics.

Ledecka's time of 1min 21.11sec was one-hundredth of a second faster - the narrowest margin of victory possible in Alpine racing - than the silver medallist Anna Veith, the defending champion in the event. The young Czech star won the first gold medal ever by the Czech Republic in Alpine skiing.

Christie was taken from the arena on a stretcher after colliding with Li Jinyu, who ultimately earned a silver medal behind South Korea's Choi Min-jeong after the Chinese was deemed blameless and put through to the final.

In an era of specialisation in sports it would be the equivalent of a tennis player competing at the summer Olympics - and also going on to win gold in badminton.

Ski Sunday commentator Ed Leigh: "It's like being great at badminton and tennis". Vonn was the first racer on the hill Saturday; she wound up finishing in a tie for sixth.

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

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