Ester Ledecka: Alpine skier and snowboarder
The 2018 Olympic Winter Games is already behind us, but we are still excited about the athletes who took home a medal or two. We are also celebrating those who represented their countries even though they didn’t step on the podium. It takes a lot of courage to compete with some of the world’s champions and therefore every athlete who participated in the event is appreciated. However, some athletes received a heroic welcome in their home countries, one of them being Ester Ledecka from the Czech Republic. Ledecka managed to pull two clean wins and emerged with two gold medals. She is not only a snowboarder as well as an alpine skier. The recent 2018 Olympic Winter Games was a blessing to her as she is the first person to bag two gold medals at the same Winter Olympics using different equipment. Ledecka won the super-G in alpine skiing and parallel giant slalom in snowboarding. The 22-year-old Ester Ledecka was born in Prague and her mother Zuzana is a figure skater and her dad, Janek, is a popular musician in the Czech Republic. Ledecka hails from a sporting family as her grandfather is a former ice hockey player known as Jan Klapac and he has won the World Championship seven times and twice in the Olympics. In 2014, Ledecka had not finished her high school studies yet and she was attending a distance-learning program in her hometown, Prague. When she began sporting as a child, she took up ice hocking and took skiing when she reached four before taking snowboarding as well. The snowboarder and alpine skier has many hobbies, which include playing guitar and singing. Ledecka’s other passions are playing beach volleyball and windsurfing.
Becoming a star
The first competition that Ester Ledecka took part in was the World Cup tournament in 2012 to 2013 and took the 13th position in the parallel giant slalom event. When Ledecka was just 17, she won a gold medal in the parallel giant slalom event at the 2013 Junior World Championships which was actually her second gold from the competition. The alpine skier and snowboarder was given the Sportsperson of the Year Award-Junior that same year in her home country. Ledecka also participated in the 2013-14 FIS Snowboard World Cup and placed behind the winner Patrizia Kummer in the first parallel giant slalom event which happened in Bad Gastein. She also came third in the second event. Ledecka also won a gold medal at the Rogla in the parallel giant slalom in the 2013-2014 FIS event and became the first Czech to do so. In doing so, she also became just the third Czech to bag a gold medal in a World Cup snowboarding event. Before the 2014 Winter Olympics kicked off, The Daily Telegraph mentioned that Ester Ledecka was the athlete to watch in the snowboarding competition. The 2013 Sportsperson of the Year Award-Junior winner made her debut in the 2014 Olympics, but she reached the quarter-final in the parallel giant slalom event after being eliminated by Patrizia. Patrizia went ahead to win the gold medal in the event and Ledecka was put on the seventh position overall.
Sealing her status at the 2018 Olympic Winter Games
Ester Ledecka won the crown as the snow queen of the 2018 Olympic Winter Games and in fact, any other Winter Games by winning the snowboard parallel giant slalom after winning the super-G alpine skiing before. The win made the alpine skier and snowboarder the first woman to ever get gold medals in different sports at any Winter Games because of her super-G skiing win a weekend before. After her victory, she said that she was really excited and it was a special moment. Last year, her parallel giant slalom snowboarding coach, Justin Reiter said that her player, Ledecka is one of the greatest living athletes. Only a few athletes thought it was possible to double up. The facts that she is a sporting polymath emphatically proved that she had a chance of winning more than one sport. Ledecka received many congratulatory messages on his Facebook and Instagram after managing to pull the two gold medals. Ester Ledecka has posted the fastest time by qualifying in the Super-G event and again at the parallel giant slalom which saw the snowboarders go head to head in a windy course in knockout series. The 2013 Sportsperson of the Year Award-Junior holder progressed through the rounds without any trouble and comfortably defeated the German Selina Joerg by over a half a second in the final. Romana Theresia, also a German, came a close third and took bronze. It is much impressive that she was the first person to compete in two sports in the Olympics as a snowboarder and alpine skier but going ahead to take the gold medal in both of them was mind-blowing. It was a great feeling for her as she tried to do her best in both races. And even by being happy about herself, Ledecka she made herself believe it was not just another race but another great race that she needed to win. Ledecka also spoke about pressure and admitted it wasn’t easy to deal with it as it was many high expectations on her shoulders. In fact, a week after she won the super-G, it became a burden to her. People were congratulating her on Facebook and Instagram as well as at the event, and she was really excited, but then she thought she had to put that behind and switch to snowboarding. While standing there after the win, the snowboard girl came and Ledecka assumed that and she started enjoying the race. She must have earned a healthy amount besides the gold medals and added it to her growing net worth.
Ester Ledecka refused to take off her goggles
The 2018 Olympic Winter Games had their surprises and not just the U.S. women’s hockey team beating the reigning Canadian champs that held the title for years, but also Ester Ledecka. She won the Super-G competition as well as parallel giant slalom one, and many people didn’t expect that. Even her, she was surprised as well and she didn’t pack a stick of makeup to prepare for the awarding because she didn’t expect to win the race. It makes sense though! Anna Veith was the winner of the Winter Games four years ago, but she was defeated by Ledecka by a hundredth of a second meaning Ledecka’s win was really slim. Former Sochi Olympic snowboarder and the coach of Ledecka said that she didn’t want a medal but just to be the first person to ever alpine ski and snowboard in the same event. So while she did all that and accomplished her dream, and also the medals, she probably wished she would have carried a concealer or eye makeup. During the press conference, she was asked why she didn’t remove her goggles for interviews and she responded that she wasn’t prepared for that ceremony and she didn’t have any makeup. For those girls who normally think they are alone when dodging people’s eyes whenever they leave their houses without any makeup, now you know even gold medalists have that issue too. After winning the gold medals, she received a hero’s welcome in the Czech capital. Thousands of Czechs chanted her name and braved the low freezing temperatures at the Prague’s picturesque Old Town Square the following Monday after the Olympics were over. When she was interviewed by a Czech reported about what had changed her after the win, Ester Ledecka said that she remained the same and it was all about the two gold medals on her neck and the many Czechs who had come to receive her.
Facts to know about the snowboarder and her net worth
Ledecka won the super-G with secondhand skis
The top skiers in any World Cup are sponsored by the ski companies. Every year, the skiers get the newest equipment from their sponsors. The rest of the skiers are left to fend for themselves, but they are allowed to fill out on the events. For Ledecka, just like most skiers who didn’t do so well in the previous world cups, had to forge friendships with her teammates and fellow competitors to get their skis after their shipments arrive from their sponsors. Ledecka won her country its first gold medal in super-G alpine skiing and surprisingly, she did that with secondhand skis. She got them from another Olympic giant slalom gold medalist from America known as Mikaela Shiffrin. Shiffrin wasn’t present at the event, but her old skis proved magical for the Czech athlete on the Olympics. Ledecka navigated through the snowy course on the best run of her career. Regardless of what happened next, the secondhand skis will remain in the history books.
People expected Ledecka to win snowboarding as well
After she managed to pull a win in the super-G skiing, people expected Ledecka to make history and win the parallel giant slalom snowboarding. She was the first-ever athlete to compete in Alpine skiing as well as the snowboarding. Thousands of followers on Facebook hoped that she would win that race as well and motivated her. We are in an era where athletes specify in one kind of sport, but she showed everyone that one could diversify and still manage to pull wins from all the sports. The talent runs in her family and her grandfather won a couple of gold and bronze medals. Just like expected, she didn’t disappoint and she was able to pull another one thanks to the motivation she got from her Facebook followers and her team.
Her net worth
Ester Ledecka’s net worth is not revealed yet, but she probably has a net worth of over $2 million, as she is in the national team. She also got some more sponsors after winning the races meaning she will be earning more besides her annual income.
It’s an awesome feeling to win a competition and even more heart-warming if you break a record. Ester Ledecka broke a record by winning two gold medals in the same event, and she made her country proud. Watch out for her and see her break records. You can follow the 2013 Sportsperson of the Year Award-Junior on Facebook as well.