The Fact She Just Won a Skiing Gold Is Crazy

Ester Ledecka is a champion snowboarder who has only skied 19 World Cup races in her career
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 17, 2018 6:39 AM CST
Silver medalist in the women's super-G Anna?Veith, left, of Austria, and bronze medalist Tina Weirather, right, of Liechtenstein, applaud as gold medalist Ester Ledecka, of Czech Republic, celebrates...   (AP Photo/Morry Gash)
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(Newser) – We had the Miracle on Ice in 1980. Now, the "Miracle on Snow." NPR reports on Saturday's shocking women's Super-G race, which was won by a Czech snowboarding champ who the AP reports has taken part in just 19 World Cup skiing races in her entire career, with her top finish ever being 7th place; for comparison, Mikaela Shiffrin has raced in 23 such events this season alone. Ester Ledecka, 22, took gold by beating defending champ Anna Veith of Austria with a time of 1:21.11. (NPR points out that in this race, skiers get just a single run down the hill.) Her lead was just 0.01 seconds and her reaction was incredulous. "How did that happen?" she asked a cameraman after she completed the run.

NPR notes that Ledecka didn't take off her goggles during a post-race news conference "because I wasn't prepared to be at the ceremony and I don't have makeup on." The BBC has another great detail: The skis she raced on aren't her own, but were borrowed from Shiffrin. American Lindsey Vonn ended up finishing 6th. You can watch the end of Ledecka's race and her reaction here. (Saturday brought a shocker from Nathan Chen, too.)

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