Shock as Czech Ester Ledecka wins skiing gold in South Korea
Feb 21 2018 by Johnnie Parsons
Remarkably, Veith was pipped by one hundredth of a second, with the Czech Republic's Ledecka - who has never made the podium in an FIS Alpine Skiing World Cup event - seemingly as shocked as anyone by her accomplishment.
A grateful Ledecka thanked fans on her Facecbook page, which swelled with more than 30,000 "likes" and 2,700 shares after her win over Austria's Anna Veith.
Wearing bib No. 26, Ledecka bested defending Olympic champion Anna Veith by just.01 seconds.
While Ledecka will enjoy her winning moment against the cream of alpine skiing, her Olympic campaign is not over just yet.
She is also a snowboarder and is expected to enter qualifying for the parallel giant slalom in that sport on Thursday. The final is Saturday.
"From skiing for snowboard, I take the fast speed, I'm not afraid of the speed".
She added: "I wasn't as prepared as the other girls for the ceremony and I don't have any make-up on".
"Our serviceman waxed them a lot of times". "I feel like in the Olympics a lot of things can happen, it's not that she didn't deserve it, but there's a lot of pressure on the favorites". Reiter, her snowboard coach, trains with her in Europe when she's working on snowboarding, then hands her off to a pair of ski coaches when she floats into that world.
Weirather's bronze enabled her to join her mother Hanni Wenzel and uncle Andreas Wenzel as an Olympic medallist with the family now having contributed seven of the 10 won by athletes from the tiny principality.
Swiss racer Michelle Gisin dismissed the idea that the design of the course could have contributed to Ledecka's shock win. "I came into the spotlight at the Olympics". "But this is great, if it can happen like that". Weird because her best result ever in super-G was 19th.
BBC Sport skiing expert Graham Bell: "What Ester does is she trains three weeks alpine skiing then three weeks snowboarding".
"I've had a roller coaster the last eight years with so many injuries, but I'm here, I'm healthy", she said.
"She knows how to go fast when it's straight". At first I thought 'is this possible?'
Lara Gut of Switzerland was fourth 0.01secs off the podium places.
"I attacked", Vonn said.
"It's hard when it's at the Olympics and you want a really fair race; today you needed the luck for sure". "But today she did".
"She didn't want to give either up because she loved it so much". And Ledecka arrived in South Korea with the mad skills to compete both on her board as well as her skis, becoming the first athlete in Olympic history to pull off that trick.
She narrowly missed qualifying for the Czech ski team for the Sochi Games. And given that she is the reigning world champion in that event, few would bet against her doing so. Ledecka's surprise victory in the early afternoon preceding Hanyu was gold medal number 999.
"I knew exactly what I needed to do", she said. It can't happen. That Ledecka is even here trying to compete in these two sports - and to be sure, they are vastly different - is beyond unlikely.
For Ledecka, like many others, that means forging friendships and snagging last year's gear from the superstars when the new shipments arrive from sponsors.
She is due to race the downhill on Wednesday, and the Alpine Combined on Friday. This time the 33-year-old was largely clean on the top half but almost wiped out on a wide turn near the bottom, a costly mistake that put her medal hopes in jeopardy with 43 racers still to go.
The story just keeps getting better. In the women's Super-G race, skiers take just one run down the hill. Not only did her mother figure skate, but her grandfather was also a two-time Olympic medalist.