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Ester Ledecká (Czech pronunciation: [ˈɛstɛr ˈlɛdɛtskaː], born 23 March 1995) is a Czech snowboarder and alpine skier. At the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, Ledecká won gold medals in the super-G in alpine skiing, and in the parallel giant slalom in snowboarding, becoming the first person to win two gold medals at the same Winter Olympics using two different types of equipment (skis and snowboard). She was the second woman to win Olympic gold in two separate disciplines but the first to do so at the same Winter Olympics. She was the first Czech to win the parallel giant slalom in snowboarding at the FIS Snowboard World Cup.

Ester Ledecká
2017 Audi FIS Ski Weltcup Garmisch-Partenkirchen Damen - Ester Ledecka - by 2eight - 8SC8527.jpg
Ester Ledecká
Personal information
Born (1995-03-23) 23 March 1995 (age 24)
Prague, Czech Republic
ResidencePrague, Czech Republic
Height173 cm (5 ft 8 in)
Weight68 kg (150 lb)
Sport
Country Czech Republic
SportSnowboarding
Alpine skiing
Event(s)Parallel slalom, parallel giant slalom
Downhill, super-G, combined
ClubDukla Liberec
Coached byJustin Reiter (snowboard)
Tomáš Bank, Ondřej Bank (ski)[1]
Achievements and titles
World finalsGold medal with cup.svg Gold medal in parallel slalom at Kreischberg 2015
Gold medal with cup.svg Gold medal in parallel giant slalom at Sierra Nevada 2017
Silver medal with cup.svg Silver medal in parallel slalom at Sierra Nevada 2017
Olympic finals
Highest world ranking
Ledecká with Martina Sáblíková (left) at Old Town Square in Prague after returning from the 2018 Winter Olympics

Early lifeEdit

Ester Ledecká was born in Prague, to mother Zuzana, a figure skater[2] and father Janek, a well-known musician in the Czech Republic.[3][4] She comes from a sporting family: her grandfather is former ice hockey player Jan Klapáč, who was a seven-time World Championship and two-time Olympic medallist.[4] In 2014, she was still at high school, attending a distance-learning programme in Prague.[5]

Ice hockey was the first sport she took up as a child, before taking up skiing at the age of four and later adding snowboarding.[2] Her hobbies include playing the guitar and singing.[6] She also enjoys participating in summer sports such as beach volleyball and windsurfing.[2]

CareerEdit

Ledecká competed in her first World Cup tournament in the 2012–13 competition, finishing in 13th place in the parallel giant slalom event.[3] In March 2013, at the age of 17, she won gold in the parallel slalom event at the Junior World Championships, her second gold of the competition.[7] She was named "Junior Sportsperson of the year" at the Czech Republic's 2013 Sportsperson of the Year awards.[8]

During the 2013–14 FIS Snowboard World Cup, Ledecká placed second behind Patrizia Kummer in the first parallel slalom event in Bad Gastein and third in the second event. She subsequently won gold at Rogla in the parallel giant slalom event at the same competition, becoming the first Czech to do so.[9] In doing so, she also became just the third Czech to win any World Cup snowboarding event.[10]

Ahead of the 2014 Winter Olympics, The Daily Telegraph's Andrew Lawton mentioned Ledecká as the "one to watch" in the women's snowboarding competition.[9] She was among the Czech athletes most expected to win a medal at the games, along with Martina Sáblíková, Gabriela Soukalová and fellow snowboarder Eva Samková.[11] After she had finished ninth in qualifying for the alpine skiing event at the Winter Olympics, the Czech Ski Association attempted to register her as a competitor, however the FIS rejected the proposal, reiterating that only eight Czechs could compete.[6][12]

Ledecká made her Olympic debut at the 2014 Winter Olympics on 19 February 2014 in the parallel giant slalom snowboarding event. She reached the quarter final stage before being eliminated by Patrizia Kummer, who went on to win the gold medal in the event. Ledecká was classified as seventh overall.[13]

Ledecká has combined her snowboarding career with competing in alpine skiing: she made her debut on the FIS Alpine Ski World Cup in February 2016, finishing 24th in her first race, the Kandahar downhill in Garmisch.[14] She went on to score points in four of her first five World Cup races, competing in the downhill and Super-G disciplines.[2] In 2017 she became the first sportsperson to compete in World Championships in both skiing and snowboarding, taking a gold in the parallel giant slalom and a silver in the parallel slalom at the Freestyle Ski and Snowboarding World Championships in Sierra Nevada, Spain, and scoring top 30 finishes in the downhill, super-G and alpine combined at the Alpine Skiing World Championships in St. Moritz, Switzerland.[1]

Ledecká made her Olympic debut in alpine skiing at the 2018 Winter Olympics, while also being qualified for alpine snowboarding. She won the gold medal in super-G in alpine skiing at the 2018 Winter Olympics in a historic upset. She was visibly shocked after finishing 0.01 seconds ahead of the 2014 Olympics defending gold medalist Anna Veith, who had already been proclaimed the winner by many media outlets.[15][16] Ledecká was ranked 49th in the event prior to the Olympics and had never medalled in any World Cup level international skiing event.[17] To make the feat even more surprising to reporters, she was rumored to be allegedly racing on skis borrowed from Mikaela Shiffrin (both racers are sponsored by Atomic). She refused to remove her goggles for the post-victory press conference, insisting that this is her trademark (which is true), and when pressed by reporters she cleverly stated that she had skipped wearing makeup as she had not expected to win the event.[18] Her snowboard coach, American Justin Reiter, arrived at the start of the Ladies PGS event with his reversible Czech team jacket confidently already turned gold side out. After victory in the parallel giant slalom she became the first ever female athlete to win an Olympic gold medal in two different disciplines during the same Winter Olympics[19] (Anfisa Reztsova had previously won gold in different disciplines but not at the same Olympics: cross country skiing in 1988 and biathlon in 1992 and 1994).[20] Ledecká was chosen as the flag bearer for the Czech Republic at the closing ceremony.[21]

World Cup resultsEdit

All results are sourced from the International Ski Federation (FIS).[22]

SnowboardingEdit

Season titlesEdit

  • 7 titles – (4 parallel overall, 3 parallel giant slalom)
Season Discipline
2016 Parallel overall
Parallel giant slalom
2017 Parallel overall
2018 Parallel overall
Parallel giant slalom
2019 Parallel overall
Parallel giant slalom

Season standingsEdit

Season  Age  Parallel
overall
Parallel
slalom
Parallel
giant slalom
2013 17 15 16 15
2014 18 2 2 3
2015 19 3 8 2
2016 20 1 5 1
2017 21 1 2 3
2018 22 1 24 1
2019 23 1 13 1

Race podiumsEdit

  • 17 wins – (15 PGS, 2 PSL)
  • 28 podiums – (22 PGS, 6 PSL)
Season Date Location Discipline Place
2013–14 10 January 2014   Bad Gastein, Austria Parallel slalom 2nd
12 January 2014 Parallel slalom 3rd
18 January 2014   Rogla, Slovenia  Parallel giant slalom  1st
2014–15 9 January 2015   Bad Gastein, Austria Parallel slalom 1st
7 February 2015   Sudelfeld, Germany Parallel giant slalom 1st
28 February 2015   Asahikawa, Japan Parallel giant slalom 3rd
2015–16 12 December 2015   Carezza, Italy Parallel giant slalom 1st
23 January 2016   Rogla, Slovenia Parallel giant slalom 1st
30 January 2016   Moscow, Russia Parallel slalom 3rd
27 February 2016   Kayseri, Turkey Parallel giant slalom 1st
2016–17 15 December 2016   Carezza, Italy Parallel giant slalom 2nd
17 December 2016   Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy Parallel slalom 1st
28 January 2017   Rogla, Slovenia Parallel giant slalom 1st
5 March 2017   Kayseri, Turkey Parallel giant slalom 1st
18 March 2017   Winterberg, Germany Parallel slalom 2nd
2017–18 14 December 2017   Carezza, Italy Parallel giant slalom 1st
15 December 2017   Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy Parallel giant slalom 1st
5 January 2018   Lackenhof, Austria Parallel giant slalom 1st
20 January 2018   Rogla, Slovenia Parallel giant slalom 1st
26 January 2018   Bansko, Bulgaria Parallel giant slalom 1st
3 March 2018   Kayseri, Turkey Parallel giant slalom 2nd
10 March 2018     Scuol, Switzerland Parallel giant slalom 1st
2018–19 13 December 2018   Carezza, Italy Parallel giant slalom 2nd
15 December 2018   Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy Parallel giant slalom 1st
16 February 2019   Pyeongchang, South Korea Parallel giant slalom 1st
17 February 2019 Parallel giant slalom 3rd
23 February 2019   Secret Garden, China Parallel giant slalom 2nd
9 March 2019   Scuol, Switzerland Parallel giant slalom 2nd

Alpine skiingEdit

Season standingsEdit

Season  Age  Overall Super-G Downhill
2016 20 93 42 37
2017 21 77 38 34
2018 22 61 47 22
2019 23 54 28 24

Top 10 resultsEdit

Season Date Location Discipline Place
2017–18 2 December 2017   Lake Louise, Canada Downhill 7th
2018–19 1 December 2018   Lake Louise, Canada Downhill 10th
2018–19 19 January 2019   Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy Downhill 8th

Olympic resultsEdit

  • 2 medals – (2 golds)

SnowboardingEdit

  • 1 medal – (1 gold)
Year  Age  Parallel
slalom
Parallel
giant slalom
  2014 Sochi 18 6 7
  2018 Pyeongchang 22 N/A 1

Alpine skiingEdit

  • 1 medal – (1 gold)
Year  Age  Giant slalom Super-G
  2018 Pyeongchang 22 23 1

World Championships resultsEdit

SnowboardingEdit

  • 3 medals – (2 gold, 1 silver)
Year  Age  Parallel
 slalom 
Parallel
giant slalom
  2011 La Molina 15 40 33
  2013 Stoneham 17 17 16
  2015 Kreischberg 19 1 5
  2017 Sierra Nevada 21 2 1

Alpine skiingEdit

Year  Age  Downhill Super-G Giant slalom Slalom Combined
    2017 St. Moritz 21 21 29 37 20
  2019 Åre 23 17 27 15

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b Clarey, Christopher (27 November 2017). "Skiing or Snowboarding? Ester Ledecka Chose Both". NYTimes.com. Retrieved 24 December 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d Dampf, Andrew (22 February 2016). "Czech athlete transitions from snowboard to ski at World Cup". CTV News. Retrieved 4 December 2016.
  3. ^ a b "Dcera Janka Ledeckého debutovala ve Světovém poháru ve snowboardingu 13. místem". Hospodářské noviny (in Czech). 21 December 2012. Archived from the original on 25 February 2014. Retrieved 7 February 2014.
  4. ^ a b Grim, Filip (3 February 2014). "Od sněhuláků přes zapomenuté lyže. Jak Ledecká startovala kariéru". Mladá fronta DNES (in Czech). Retrieved 7 February 2014.
  5. ^ Jakoubek, Jiří (18 January 2014). "Za odměnu mám vafle, smála se po prvním triumfu v SP Ledecká". Mladá fronta DNES (in Czech). Retrieved 7 February 2014.
  6. ^ a b David, Jan (7 February 2014). "Na noc si dávám zmrzlinu, ale vždycky! směje se Ledecká". Metro Praha (in Czech). Prague: MAFRA. p. 16.
  7. ^ "Ledecka and Baumeister win parallel slalom at Junior World Champs". FIS. 7 March 2013. Archived from the original on 11 February 2014. Retrieved 7 February 2014.
  8. ^ Beránek, Jaroslav; Kučerová, Martina (18 December 2013). "Neporazitelná běžkyně Hejnová vyhrála i souboj o titul Sportovec roku". Mladá fronta DNES (in Czech). Retrieved 7 February 2014.
  9. ^ a b Lawton, Andrew (5 February 2014). "Winter Olympics 2014: Blagger's guide to snowboarding". The Telegraph. Retrieved 7 February 2014.
  10. ^ "Career's first for Ledecka and Mathies in Rogla PGS | First Czech win on Alpine Snowboard World Cup tour | Exciting race for Crystal Globes". rogla.eu. Archived from the original on 7 February 2014. Retrieved 7 February 2014.
  11. ^ "Czech Republic names 85 athletes to Sochi Olympic team". AP. Sports Illustrated. 16 January 2014. Retrieved 7 February 2014.
  12. ^ Augustin, Marek (1 February 2014). "Ledecká bude v Soči závodit jen na snowboardu, start v lyžování neprošel". Czech Radio (in Czech). Retrieved 7 February 2014.
  13. ^ Grim, Filip (19 February 2014). "Desítka, jak jsem plánovala, chválila se Ledecká po olympijském debutu". Mladá fronta DNES (in Czech). Retrieved 19 February 2014.
  14. ^ "Ester Ledecka surprises ski world". International Ski Federation. 9 February 2016. Archived from the original on 20 December 2016. Retrieved 4 December 2016.
  15. ^ Olympics Prime Time. National Broadcasting Company (USA). 16 February 2018. NBC.
  16. ^ Olympics Prime Time. Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. 16 February 2018. CBC.
  17. ^ Chappell, Bill (17 February 2018). "'This Must Be Some Mistake,' Says Snowboarder After Winning Olympic Gold In Skiing". NPR.org. NPR. Retrieved 18 February 2018.
  18. ^ Sugar, Jenny (18 February 2018). "Ester Ledecka Won Gold in the Super-G — and She Was Wearing Mikaela Shiffrin's Skis!". PopSugar.
  19. ^ "Ester Ledecka: Two sports, two golds, same Olympics". BBC. 24 February 2018.
  20. ^ McGee, Paul (27 July 2019). "Ester Ledecká interview". icetrail.com. Retrieved 26 October 2019.
  21. ^ "Olympiáda skončila, za účasti Ivanky Trumpové i generála, který nechal potopit jihokorejskou loď". lidovky.cz (in Czech). 25 February 2018. Retrieved 7 March 2018.
  22. ^ "Ester Ledecka". FIS-Ski. International Ski Federation. Retrieved 15 January 2017.

External linksEdit

Awards
Preceded by
Karolína Erbanová
Czech Junior Athlete of the Year
2013
2015 (with Jiří Janošek)
Succeeded by
Anežka Drahotová
Preceded by
Gabriela Koukalová
Czech Athlete of the Year
2018
Succeeded by
[to be determined]