Olympics - The Two Esters come together to make history

Olympics - The Two Esters come together to make historyā€¯

The Czech confirmed her position as the snow queen of the Games by becoming the first woman to win gold in two sports at a single Winter Olympics, following her sensational victory in the super-G skiing last weekend.

"But it is a great thing that I could be here in both sports and enjoy a career in both sports", she said.

Ester Ledecka, the Alpine skier and snowboarder from the Czech Republic, will talk to herself when she is in different modes.

Ledecka stunned the crowd and family after racing from 26th place in the super-G and winning by 0.01 seconds.

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". Although, according to her coach Justin Reiter, this shouldn't have happened. "You know, on every race, I'm trying to do my best and I'm trying to ride every race the same - with 100%".

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

With just one day out, Norway leads the medals table on 13 golds while China, next host of the Winter Olympics, is 16th with one gold. When she tried snowboarding three years later, Ledecka decided she would just do both, much to the dismay of her coaches.

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.

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Ledecka joins Norwegians Thorleif Haug and Johan Groettumsbraten as the only athlete to do a multi-sport double in the same Olympics. She just needed to know how hard it would be, and then she could figure out the training and discipline the task required.

"I'll get home and lie in bed and maybe sleep for a while", she said. "If they want to do more, do more and try the best". She said she did not feel good with her snowboarding here until the day before competition.

But going back and forth between both is not easy.

"She didn't just specify Alpine skiing in her sports repertoire when she was 8 years old because she wanted to be an Olympic champion", Shiffrin said. Ledecka is the defending parallel giant slalom world champion, and is ranked number one in the world in the discipline.

Whenever Ledecka returns from her skiing exploits, Reiter said, it is akin to having to polish a rough diamond all over again.

CROSS COUNTRY SKIING: Iivo Niskanen beat out Russian rival Alexander Bolshunov with a strong sprint in the 50-kilometer mass start to give Finland its first gold.

For Joerg, the silver medal could be regarded as a long-awaited redemption after she narrowly missed out on a medal in Vancouver eight years ago.

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