Winter Olympics: Ledecka makes it 'a big day for snowboarding Ester'

Role model? I'm too crazy says 'snow queen' Ledecka

Role model? I'm too crazy says 'snow queen' Ledecka

When Ester took to the slopes as a child, starting on skis and then strapping on a snowboard, her father Janek Ledecky - Czechs sometimes vary the last vowel of their family name depending on gender - recalled that he and his wife "were not pushy parents".

Seven days after becoming the first snowboarder to win Olympic gold in alpine skiing, the Czech followed up her success in the super-G with gold in snowboarding's parallel giant slalom.

The 22-year-old was superb throughout and defeated Germany's Selina Joerg in the final by 0.46 seconds to become the fifth person to win gold in two events, although the quartet she joined doubled up in similar Nordic skiing disciplines.

Reiter said a major part of the challenge for Ledecka was managing the transition between sports, in addition to ensuring she maintained her health.

"My plan is to stay with my heart, so for now, I will do both because I love both", she said.

Switzerland beat Austria 3-1 to win the inaugural Alpine skiing team gold.

"Even underneath the suit, I get goosebumps talking about it", Leif Kristian Nestvold-Haugen of Norway said. Germany took the bronze, marking the seventh time it has medaled in the event in the last eight Olympics.

The debut of the speedskating mass start races worked out well for the hosts, with South Korea's Lee Seung-hoon unleashing a final sprint to beat Belgian inline skater Bart Swings in the men's event.

BC-OLY-SBD-Parallel Giant Slalom, 2nd Ld-Writethru, 858 Chapter 2: Ledecka wins gold again, this time on a snowboardAP Photo OLYSB261, OLYSB186, OLYSB244, OLYSB243Eds: Updates throughout with new lead, quotes, details.

She had posted the fastest time in morning qualifying in the event, which sees snowboarders go head-to-head in a series of knockout races. "I can't imagine doing what she has done, but would have liked to have given it a try", said McGrath, who attended Middlebury College and coaches skiing in Norway, his wife's home country. It was nice of course but I was thinking "but you have to change into a snowboarder now".

"What happened here", he said, "was once-in-a-lifetime". "I think maybe Ester can give them hope that competing and being successful in more than one sport is possible. We've been at the medal plaza, cheering our teammates on and I was like, 'We are not leaving here without a medal.' So it means a lot".

Earlier Nana Takagi won a furious dash to the line in the women's mass start to claim Japan's fourth gold medal of the Games.

The absence of National Hockey League (NHL) players at the Winter Olympics was disappointing but "you don't need caviar every day", says the president of the International Ice Hockey Federation.

The most decorated athlete at the Games with five medals, including two golds.

Latest News