Pyeongchang 2018: Ledecka makes history

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Ester Ledecka of the Czech Republic became the first person in Winter Olympics history to win gold medals in both Alpine skiing and snowboarding, when she won the snowboard parallel giant slalom on Saturday.

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.

And after progressing through the rounds comfortably, she easily beat German Selina Jorg by more than half a second in the final.

Ledecka made hade Olympic history on Saturday when she pumped her right fist after powering through the finish line of the women's parallel giant slalom competition. "She's the hardest-working athlete I've ever met", Trapp said, adding that she will train in any conditions "and if she doesn't come out with the fastest runs she's mad about it".

And while she was pleased to be back on her snowboard, she said that making the transition from skis to snowboard had felt odd at first.

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Ledecka who started her quest for gold, racing from 26th place in the super-G, stunned the crowd crowd to win by 0.01 seconds. After her big success in skiing, I was quite nervous today. Although, according to her coach Justin Reiter, this shouldn't have happened. "She never wants to race the girls, and all the guys are like, 'Ester, I don't know if I can do this, '" Trapp said with a laugh.

"When people think of us, they think of Prague and Pilsner", says another fan, Markeva, while heading out the door.

One of the best things about the Winter Olympics is always the unlikely stories that are written. The challenge of her switch was not lost on Ledecka.

"I'll get home and lie in bed and maybe sleep for a while", she said.

Among those skeptics was Reiter, a US Olympic snowboarder himself in Sochi four years ago.

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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.

Ledecka revealed that it felt unusual to go back-and-forth between the snowboard and skis. But she had different plans this time. Ledecka is the defending parallel giant slalom world champion, and is ranked number one in the world in the discipline. She's got a great heart, great head, too.

Indeed, Ledecka has asserted herself as a force in her second Olympics, prompting the question of whether she is the best athlete among the thousands who have competed here in South Korea. This year she focused on her health and now has two gold medals to show for it.

"If she chose to just absorb all the energy from the super-G medal and kind of check off the Olympic medal, we'd be having a different conversation today", he said.

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