Czech Republic's Ester Ledecka bags historic skiing-snowboard double with parallel giant slalom gold
Czech Republic’s Ester Ledecka secured a historic skiing-snowboard double after taking gold ahead of Germany’s Selina Joerg in the ladies’ parallel giant slalom (PGS), one week on from claiming a shock win in the super-G.
The 22-year-old arrived in Pyeongchang looking to become the first athlete to compete in both snowboarding and alpine skiing, but she ultimately left an unprecedented double champion.
Selina Jorg, Ester Ledecka and Ramona HofmeisterGetty Images
The most unforeseen of feats makes her only the fifth person in Winter Olympic history to claim golds in two separate events, and the first to win in two unrelated sports - with the previous four all competing in Nordic events.
And while the super-G victory was unexpected, the romp to PGS glory never seemed in doubt. Having gone a second quicker than any competitor during qualification, Ledecka comfortably won each knockout race before beating Joerg by almost half-a-second in the big final.
Meanwhile, Ramona Hofmeister of Germany claimed bronze when beating OAR’s Alena Zavarzina in the small final.
Ledecka had the immediate challenge of facing 2014 Olympic champion Patrizia Kummer of Switzerland, but she proved no match as the Czech crossed the line 0.71 seconds in front.
A quarter-final victory over Daniela Ulbing was followed by a semi-final win against Hofmeister, who had pushed her all the way before stumbling.
Joerg joined Ledecka in the big final when beating Zavarzina, while Hofmeister overcame her semi-final loss when taking bronze at the expense of the Russian, who came third four years ago in Sochi.
There were a few nervy moments for Ledecka in the final, but the world champion overcame those wobbles to finish 0.46 seconds ahead of her rival and complete history in South Korea.