Ledecka creates history with gold in women's parallel giant slalom

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"It feels nearly unbelievable, but we came out here with great intensity and just had to believe we could do it, and make our shots", said America's Matt "Ham" Hamilton.

It is not that this daughter of a famous Czech musician does not care about what she has achieved. She's the first cross-country skier to carry the US flag into an Olympic ceremony since Bill Koch did the honors at Albertville's opening in 1992.

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.

Over time she says she learnt that she could not go flat out in training in both sports, even though she would have happily spent eight hours a day on each one.

This simple, technical approach may have been a key to the 22-year-old's near-unprecedented Olympic quest, which her American snowboard coach Justin Reiter said made her a "once-in-a-lifetime" athlete.

By winning gold in both snowboard and Alpine skiing, Ledecka has challenged the conventional wisdom regarding what is achievable, and she had a message for any youngsters who might wish to follow in her footsteps and aim for success on both skis and snowboard.

"My plan is to stay with my heart, so for now, I will do both because I love both", she said. "I (was) wanting to win my gold medal (over) this distance and it had been long years". "I was here many days, I'm really looking forward to getting home", she said.

"This is the best thing about my job, the racing".

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"It was actually quite tough to change myself to a snowboarder (after the alpine event)". She treated herself to fried chicken after her upset win. In the snowboarding semifinal against Ramona Theresia Hofmeister she was briefly behind.

In the final against another German, Selina Joerg, there were no such concerns as Ledecka tore down the slope and tore up the record books.

Three of the four athletes to have won in different sports in the past did so in the closely related fields of Nordic combined and cross-country skiing while Russian Anfissa Reszova did so in biathlon and cross country.

The difficulty of excelling in both skiing and snowboarding should not be underestimated.

"But each time we get Ester back on the snowboard side, it's like chunk of coal". She said she was too busy to give her last name.

"And I said, 'No, I want to go in both and if it matters to you that I do both, then I need to choose another coach because this is the way I will do it'".

Life will never be the same for Ledecka.

As was the case following her super-G victory, the Czech conducted her post-race interviews while wearing her goggles. When she looked up at the scoreboard and saw the time, she froze. She was focused on her goal.



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