Winter Olympics 2018: Veith admirably gracious after Ledecka snatches gold

Lindsey Vonn dedicates Olympic return to late grandfather in heartfelt Instagram post before first race

Snowboarder Ester Ledecka made Olympic history for the Czech Republic on February 17 when she delivered a huge upset and won the top spot ahead of Lindsey Vonn in the Women's super-G.

Moments after 22-year-old's unlikely triumph, the origin of her skis remained unclear with Ledecka telling a post-race news conference: "I hope these are mine".

While Hanyu was favourite for gold, Ledecka produced one of the great Winter Games shocks when she won the super-G, with American star Lindsey Vonn sixth. Austria's Anna Veith won the gold medal, Liechtenstein's Tina Weirather won the silver and Suitzerland's Lara Gut won the bronze.

Ledecka's Olympics aren't done.

Lindsey Vonn has the motivation of her late grandfather's memory in her Olympics return. That finally happened Saturday on the biggest stage in the world. "All the other girls didn't risk a lot", Ledecka told reporters.

"I feel like in the Olympics, a lot of weird things happen and it's not that they [the winners] don't deserve it, it's just different".

"Her focus today was just to have a good run", said Justin Reiter, a former US snowboarder who coaches Ledecka. When Ledecka finished, she looked stunned. She had only one career top-10 on the World Cup circuit, finishing in seventh in the downhill two months ago in Lake Louise, Alberta.

She won the parallel giant slalom at the world snowboard championships last March.

"I knew exactly what I needed to do", she said.

She has already waited long enough - and ventured down a very bumpy course in the past eight years. This still didn't make much of a difference for Ledecka, as she had never finished higher than 29th in the event. "I knew it was possible, but I didn't expect it".

'I am so surprised about all of it. "But today she did".

What do you do when you can't choose between skiing and snowboarding?

She narrowly missed qualifying for the Czech ski team for the Sochi Games.

Ledecka skied 26th, pulling off a colossal upset. More spectators reportedly have also started travelling to the Olympic Plaza to view medal ceremonies. "I should already have like three runs on the snowboard". "Her reaction in the finish was so cool. You know, I want to represent our country well, and I don't think there are a lot of people now in our government who do that".

The first competitor out of the gates, Vonn flew down the hill but butchered a left-footed turn not far from the bottom to record a time of 1:21.49, which crushed her hopes of medalling in the event. I'm so proud to be here representing the United States.

According to commentators, they could see the ski racer mouthing "I tried" after her run, Sports Illustrated reported.

Vonn added: "It's definitely shocking".



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