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Winter Olympics 2018: Ledecka makes history in Pyeongchang

Winter Olympics 2018: Ledecka makes history in Pyeongchang

It was Ledecka's first-ever victory on skis.

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. Ester says she will continue to do both because she loves both sports and loves to do both.

Ledecka is the first female Olympian to win two gold medals in two separate events in the same Winter Olympics [VIDEO].

The 22-year-old sporting polymath - she is also a fine windsurfer and has Tokyo 2020 on her mind - emphatically proved otherwise.

When coaches counseled her to choose one or the other, she held her ground.

On Saturday, she traded her skis for a snowboard to race as the favorite in the parallel giant slalom and it nearly didn't matter how she did because no one had even attempted that before.

"From the start, there were a lot of people who would say, 'You can not do both; you need to specialize, otherwise you will never reach a higher level, '" Ledecka told the New York Times.

Lee Sang-ho of South Korea finished 0.43 seconds behind to take silver, the country's first medal in a snowboarding event. The Czech world champion and hot favourite had earlier shocked the world of alpine skiing by capturing gold in last week's super-G skiing. Ledecka might have just cemented herself as one with this feat.

The difficulty of excelling in both skiing and snowboarding should not be underestimated.

This will definitely be one of the greatest moments in all Olympic history and probably the best performance in this year's Olympics. "I was here many days, I'm really looking forward to getting home", she said.

Vonn, 33, is heartened by the example that Ledecka is setting. She looked every bit the snowboarder who is the world champion in the event where she's been competing on the World Cup circuit since 2012.

To view Ledecka as an outlier might be justified - many elite athletes carry themselves more solemnly - but to dismiss her as a novelty would be wrong.

"I love racing. This is the best thing about my job - the racing".

As Ledecka rewrote the rules, Norway took bronze in the inaugural alpine skiing team event to reach 38 medals, breaking the record of 37 set by the United States in 2010. "I think she definitely will have a long-lasting impact".

Ledecka has a rich Olympic bloodline.

"It was a big burden over the last week", she said. "I was just waiting for them to change the time". But she had different plans this time.

"I felt it was a mistake", she said afterward. Her fourth race was decided when her opponent slid off the course.

Trapp, 29, started out in all five snowboarding disciplines but was encouraged by his coaches to choose freestyle or racing. I wanted to choose both and a lot of people told me that it's not possible to get to the top in both. Ledecka is a throwback outlier, someone whose refusal to specialize has a back-to-the-future feel - and appeal.

And while the super-G victory was unexpected, the romp to PGS glory never seemed in doubt. Shiffrin added with a laugh, "I thought this sport was hard, but apparently not".

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