Vonn struggles late, fails to medal in super-G

Lindsey Vonn is a ‘caged bull’ waiting for her Olympics return

Updates headlines, photos. With AP Photos.

"Until today", Ledecka said, "I thought I was a better snowboarder".

Prime Minister Andrej Babis congratulated Ledecka on his official Twitter account: "Ester Ledecka has a GOLD!". Just simply couldn't be. Most importantly, she beat Lindsey Vonn, which now makes us understand why Lindsey was so adamant about separating skiing and snowboarding in her statements past year.

"To recap: NBC called a victor long before all the results were in, spoiled its own update, and provided lackluster and uninteresting coverage of one of the most shocking outcomes in Winter Games history despite having the power of time-shifting time-travel", Deadspin said.

But Shiffrin skipping out also meant that Ledecka was able to borrow the American's skis for her run down the mountain.

"I was thinking okay, they're going to change the time, I'm going to wait for a little bit and they're going to switch and put some seconds on".

"I told him, 'Yes, Yuzu, but only one can be champion".

That never happened. This was no mistake.

The 22-year-old, favourite in the snowboard parallel slalom in a week's time, beat defending champion Anna Veith of Austria by one-hundredth of a second with Liechtenstein's Tina Weirather taking bronze.

Instead, it was Ledecka who collected the prized medal. It can be a grind, as she bounces back and forth between the skiing and snowboarding World Cups.

World champion in the parallel giant slalom snowboarding and a former world champion in the parallel slalom, she could yet enjoy unprecedented medal success in the two separate snow sports in Pyeongchang.

Here's the thing: She is a snowboarder by trade.

"It's downhill, both of them, that's the base, I think", she deadpanned, when asked about how much overlap there was between skiing and snowboarding. American Mikaela Shiffrin lent her skis to the Czech skier, and then watched as she made the impossible possible.

Everything about this was remarkable.

"Definitely shocking", said Vonn, who tied for sixth.




"That's so impressive", skier Michelle Gisin of Switzerland said.

Just a couple of days later, however, Ledecka's performance in the super G would leave the athlete herself in a state of utter disbelief. "I wasn't expecting to be sitting here, I already should have had three runs of snowboard", she said at a press conference in which she refused to take off her goggles, saying they were her "brand" - something that might contravene International Olympic Committee rules on sponsors.

"That's why it's so hard to win at the Olympics", Vonn said.

"It's all that matters right now", Vonn said late a year ago.

"Yeah, it took one hundred [th of a second]".

Vieth was sure she'd clinched a gold.

When Ledecka entered a packed news conference in a tent at Jeongseon Alpine Centre to make sense of the impossible, she sat down behind a microphone, wearing ski googles.

So which should she focus on?

"I attacked", Vonn said.

"From skiing for snowboard, I take the fast speed, I'm not afraid of the speed. To do two completely different sports is incredible". And the balance required in snowboarding is a boost for ski racing.

Silver medalist Veith was full of compliments for Ledecka's feat, but still perhaps not quite believing it possible.

"It was kind of scary there for a moment".

"Every time she pulls out of the start gate, she pulls out with a fire behind her and inside of her", Reiter said. "And that's because of her heart and because of her ability with a snowboard". Her Olympic medal haul is more modest, though, having missed the 2014 Sochi Games with a knee injury.

"We have an fantastic slope and we have an wonderful course and it's really fair", said Gisin, who went out just behind Veith and finished ninth.

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