Ester Ledecka Wins Snowboarding Giant Slalom Gold Medal at Olympics 2018

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured ColumnistFebruary 24, 2018

Ester Ledecka, of the Czech Republic, runs the course during the women's parallel giant slalom semifinal at Phoenix Snow Park at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
Gregory Bull/Associated Press

Ester Ledecka etched her name into Olympic lore by winning gold in the women's snowboarding parallel giant slalom final Saturday afternoon (Friday ET) at Phoenix Snow Park in Pyeongchang, South Korea. 

The Czech dynamo is the first athlete in Olympic history to claim skiing and snowboarding golds following her stunning super-G triumph on Day 8 of the 2018 Games. She's also the first woman to medal in two sports at a single Winter Olympics. 

Ledecka defeated Germany's Selina Joerg in the gold-medal race, while Ramona Theresia Hofmeister came out on top in the bronze-medal showdown against Alena Zavarzina. 

Here's a rundown of the day's top finishers, with complete results for all participants available through the Olympics' official website:      

  • Gold: Ester Ledecka (Czech Republic)
  • Silver: Selina Joerg (Germany) 
  • Bronze: Ramona Theresia Hofmeister (Germany)
  • 4. Alena Zavarzina (Olympic Athletes from Russia)

Here's the full medal count so far:

Ledecka produced one of the most unique and impressive Olympic runs in recent memory, and she capped it off Saturday with a succession of sterling races that proceeded without hiccups as she blew past the field for her second gold medal. 

"I firmly believe she's one of the greatest living athletes," Ledecka's snowboarding coach, Justin Reiter, told the Guardian's Sean Ingle

Take it from American skier Lindsey Vonn, and Ledecka's performance could have serious staying power in terms of how it affects future Olympic hopefuls. 

"The millennials are raw and inclusive, and trying other sports is important to them, as it should be," she said, per the New York Times' Karen Crouse. "I think maybe Ester can give them hope that competing and being successful in more than one sport is possible. I think she definitely will have a long-lasting impact."

Elsewhere on the podium, Joerg captured her first Olympic medal after falling one place shy in the Vancouver 2010 Games and finishing 13th four years ago in Sochi, Russia.                 

Germany also came away with bronze and a majority share of the women's giant slalom medals thanks to Theresia Hofmeister's victorious effort versus Zavarzina. 

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