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Czech's Ester Ledecka wins snowboarding parallel giant slalom gold, makes history

Czech's Ester Ledecka wins snowboarding parallel giant slalom gold, makes history

And the greatest athletes in the world now gush over Ledecka, a 22-year-old Czech who became the first woman and third athlete overall to win two gold medals in different sports at one Games with her victory in snowboardings parallel giant slalom.

Last week, after she shocked the Alpine ski world by her unexpected gold medal in super-G, Ledecka was afraid she might struggle to find her snowboarding half.

The 2017 World Champion eased past Patrizia Kummer and Daniela Ulbing in her first two rounds, before seeing off Germany's Ramona Hofmeister in the semi-final to set up a clash with Selina Joerg in the battle for gold. Ledecka, from the Czech Republic, was unbeatable in her best event, and stormed through the tournament.

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

However, she only started on the skiing circuit in 2016. She didn't take off her goggles at the post-race press conference because, she said, she "wasn't prepared to be at the ceremony and I don't have makeup on".

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.

And after winning her second gold medal, Ledecka said she was hopeful her example would serve as an inspiration for younger athletes wanting to compete at an elite level in more than one area.

Vonn would like to be a multisport athlete, but her forays into tennis, figure skating, soccer and gymnastics were short-lived.

Not Ledecka. She trains in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, with former US Olympic snowboarder Justin Reiter.

"Even underneath the suit, I get goosebumps talking about it", Leif Kristian Nestvold-Haugen of Norway said.

"We did the best that we could to try to shelter her from you guys picking her bones clean". I had quite a hard time now.

Twice on Friday she crashed in training.

"When she comes back from snowboarding she always goes too round and when she comes back from skiing she always goes too straight so it's always back and forth with the line". This time, however, she has different plans.

She did the same after winning gold in the parallel giant slalom. "Don't tell my coaches", she reportedly said.

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.

The latest offender, women's bobsledder Nadezhda Sergeyeva, has been kicked out after failing a test for a banned heart drug, the Court of Arbitration for Sport said.

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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