Former SSWSC rider Ledecká takes second straight gold in Olympic parallel giant slalom

Ester Ledecká celebrates from the top step of the podium at Phoenix Snow Park in Pyeongchang, South Korea after winning the women’s snowboarding parallel giant slalom event at the 2018 Winter Olympics. Ledecká won gold in Beijing on Tuesday, Feb. 8.
Joel Reichenberger/Steamboat Pilot & Today

Seemingly effortlessly, Ester Ledecká cruised through each round of the Olympic women’s parallel giant slalom competition at the Zhangjiakou Genting Snow Park on Tuesday, Feb. 8.

Ledecká won an uncontested semifinal after her opponent rode out of the course halfway down. That sent her to the finals where she faced Daniela Ulbing of Austria.

She held a lead the whole way, but Ulbing threatened to close the gap. Ulbing was pushing hard, so much so that she made a mistake and rattled out of the course. Ledecká cross the finish line alone, earning her second straight gold in the event and third Olympics medal.

Ledecká, who is coached by former Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club boarder Justin Reiter, made history in 2018, becoming the first woman to win two individual golds in a snowboarding and skiing event. She was a dark horse in the super-G in 2018, but even after making two mistakes along the course, she came across 0.01 seconds ahead of the leader, earning the gold medal.

The next week, she took part in parallel giant slalom, where she was a favorite. She won a closely-contested final for her historic gold.

Ledecká trained with Thedo Remmelink of the SSWSC briefly, and had been a teammate of Reiter for years before he started coaching in 2017.

Ester Ledecka cuts down the course at the 2018 Winter Olympics. She won gold then, and repeated that feat in Beijing on Tuesday, Feb. 8.
Joel Reichenberger/Steamboat Pilot & Today

Vic Wild, another athlete who trained with SSWSC, finished third on Tuesday. He narrowly missed out on a chance to compete in the big final where he’d have competed for gold. He fell to eventual silver-medalist Tim Mastnak in the semifinals.

Wild moved on to the small final. He was neck and neck with Italy’s Roland Fischnaller until the very end, when Fischnaller faltered.

Wild crossed the line first and a wave of emotions washed over him. He fell to the ground and raised his hands to his face. The bronze is Wild’s third Olympic medal. He won gold in Sochi in parallel giant slalom and parallel slalom, the one time the event appeared in the Olympics.

Vic Wild rides en route to a gold medal Wednesday in the parallel giant slalom event at the 2014 Winter Olympics. Wild also won parallel slalom that year. He added to his accolades with a bronze medal in parallel giant slalom in Beijing on Tuesday, Feb. 8.
Joel Reichenberger/Steamboat Pilot & Today
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