PYEONGCHANG, South Korea (AP) Nobody could touch Ester Ledecka on this slope. Nobody should be too surprised that she took another gold medal, either.
The Czech snow star won the second leg of an unheard-of Olympic double Saturday, taking the gold medal in snowboarding’s parallel giant slalom to go with her surprise skiing victory in the Alpine super-G seven days earlier.
She came into the Olympics top-ranked on the snowboarding circuit but never considered a threat, until now, in skiing. She’ll leave as the first to win gold medals in both sports.
She outraced Selina Joerg of Germany to the line in the final and won by .46 seconds, a much more comfortable margin than the .01-second edge in the super-G race that left her staring at the clock in shock, wondering if someone had made a mistake.
In a sport that’s often decided by micro-fractions, Ledecka romped all the way through. She had the fastest qualifying time; she won three of her races by .71, .97 and, in the final, by .46 seconds, while the fourth was decided when her opponent slid off the course.
No surprises here, she pumped her fist, then rode over and offered a long congratulatory hug to Joerg.
Everyone should have expected this from the leader in World Cup points and multiple winner on the snowboarding circuit, who always insisted on doing both sports.
In the men’s race, Switzerland’s Nevin Galmarini won the gold, beating South Korea’s Sangho Lee to the line in the final.