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.
|Born||23 March 1995|
Prague, Czech Republic
|Height||173 cm (5 ft 8 in)|
|Weight||68 kg (150 lb)|
|Event(s)||Parallel slalom, parallel giant slalom|
Downhill, super-G, combined
|Coached by||Justin Reiter (snowboard)|
Tomáš Bank, Ondřej Bank (ski)
|Achievements and titles|
|World finals|| Gold medal in parallel slalom at Kreischberg 2015|
Gold medal in parallel giant slalom at Sierra Nevada 2017
Silver medal in parallel slalom at Sierra Nevada 2017
|Highest world ranking|
Ester Ledecká was born in Prague, to mother Zuzana, a figure skater and father Janek Ledecký, a well-known musician in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. 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. In 2014, she was still at high school, attending a distance-learning programme in Prague.
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. "I was following what my brother did," Ester says. "He is one and a half years older than me and so when he started with a board, I wanted to do it too. I was five years old when I started snowboarding and I did freestyle snowboarding and boardercross until I was about thirteen years old. And again it was my brother who started with alpine snowboarding and I wanted to beat him, so I learned that too."
Ledecká competed in her first World Cup tournament in the 2012–13 competition, finishing in 13th place in the parallel giant slalom event. 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. She was named "Junior Sportsperson of the year" at the Czech Republic's 2013 Sportsperson of the Year awards.
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. In doing so, she also became just the third Czech to win any World Cup snowboarding event.
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. 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. 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.
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.
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. She went on to score points in four of her first five World Cup races, competing in the downhill and Super-G disciplines. 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.
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. Ledecká was ranked 49th in the event prior to the Olympics and had never medalled in any World Cup level international skiing event. 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. 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 (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). Ledecká was chosen as the flag bearer for the Czech Republic at the closing ceremony.
In the 2018–19 Alpine Ski World Cup, Ledecká finished 24th in the downhill standings and 28th in super-G. In December 2019, Ledecká scored her first win on the Alpine Ski World Cup in a downhill at Lake Louise, eclipsing her previous personal best World Cup downhill result of seventh at the same venue two years previously. In December 2020, she won her first World Cup Super-G race.
World Cup resultsEdit
- 7 titles – (4 parallel overall, 3 parallel giant slalom)
|Parallel giant slalom|
|Parallel giant slalom|
|Parallel giant slalom|
|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|
|2019–20||14 January 2020||Bad Gastein, Austria||Parallel slalom||2nd|
|18 January 2020||Rogla, Slovenia||Parallel giant slalom||1st|
|2020–21||12 December 2020||Cortina d'Ampezzo, Italy||Parallel giant slalom||1st|
|2019–20||6 December 2019||Lake Louise, Canada||Downhill||1st|
|8 February 2020||Garmisch Partenkirchen, Germany||Downhill||3rd|
|23 February 2020||Crans-Montana, Switzerland||Combined||3rd|
|2020–21||20 December 2020||Val-d'Isère, France||Super G||1st|
|22 January 2021||Crans-Montana, Switzerland||Downhill||2nd|
- 2 medals – (2 golds)
- 1 medal – (1 gold)
- 1 medal – (1 gold)
World Championships resultsEdit
- 3 medals – (2 gold, 1 silver)
|2011 La Molina||15||40||33|
|2017 Sierra Nevada||21||2||1|
|2017 St. Moritz||21||21||29||37||—||20|
- Clarey, Christopher (27 November 2017). "Skiing or Snowboarding? Ester Ledecka Chose Both". NYTimes.com. Retrieved 24 December 2017.
- Dampf, Andrew (22 February 2016). "Czech athlete transitions from snowboard to ski at World Cup". CTV News. Retrieved 4 December 2016.
- "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.
- Grim, Filip (3 February 2014). "Od sněhuláků přes zapomenuté lyže. Jak Ledecká startovala kariéru". Mladá fronta DNES (in Czech). Retrieved 7 February 2014.
- 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.
- "Ester Ledecká: how did she DO that?!". Retrieved 14 July 2020.
- David, Jan (7 February 2014). "Na noc si dávám zmrzlinu, ale vždycky! směje se Ledecká". Metro Praha (in Czech). Prague: MAFRA. p. 16.
- "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.
- 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.
- Lawton, Andrew (5 February 2014). "Winter Olympics 2014: Blagger's guide to snowboarding". The Telegraph. Retrieved 7 February 2014.
- "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.
- "Czech Republic names 85 athletes to Sochi Olympic team". AP. Sports Illustrated. 16 January 2014. Retrieved 7 February 2014.
- 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.
- Grim, Filip (19 February 2014). "Desítka, jak jsem plánovala, chválila se Ledecká po olympijském debutu". Mladá fronta DNES (in Czech). Retrieved 19 February 2014.
- "Ester Ledecka surprises ski world". International Ski Federation. 9 February 2016. Archived from the original on 20 December 2016. Retrieved 4 December 2016.
- Olympics Prime Time. National Broadcasting Company (USA). 16 February 2018. NBC.
- Olympics Prime Time. Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. 16 February 2018. CBC.
- 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.
- Sugar, Jenny (18 February 2018). "Ester Ledecka Won Gold in the Super-G — and She Was Wearing Mikaela Shiffrin's Skis!". PopSugar.
- "Ester Ledecka: Two sports, two golds, same Olympics". BBC. 24 February 2018.
- McGee, Paul (27 July 2019). "Ester Ledecká interview". icetrail.com. Retrieved 26 October 2019.
- "Olympiáda skončila, za účasti Ivanky Trumpové i generála, který nechal potopit jihokorejskou loď". lidovky.cz (in Czech). 25 February 2018. Retrieved 7 March 2018.
- Hodgetts, Rob (7 December 2019). "Dual Olympic champion Ester Ledecka wins first World Cup skiing race". cnn.com. Retrieved 8 December 2019.
- "Ester Ledecka adds World Cup super-G win to surprise Olympic title". OlympicTalk | NBC Sports. Associated Press. 20 December 2020. Retrieved 31 December 2020.
- "Ester Ledecka". FIS-Ski. International Ski Federation. Retrieved 15 January 2017.
- Ester Ledecká at the International Ski Federation (as snowboarder)
- Ester Ledecká at the International Ski Federation (as alpine skier)
- Profile at Sochi2014.com at the Wayback Machine (archived 2014-06-28)
- Ester Ledecká at Olympics at Sports-Reference.com (archived)
- Ester Ledecká at the International Olympic Committee
- Ester Ledecká on Facebook