Czech Olympian Ester Ledecka came to Pyeongchang hoping to build on her reputation as a world champion snowboarder, but for the past two years, she's been trying her hand in the alpine skiing event Super-G slalom.
As it turns out, Ledecka's skills on a mountain are good enough to succeed in both competitive disciplines.
You'd be shocked, too.
Ester Ledecka, a world champion SNOWBOARDER, shocks the field to win a surprise-gold by 0.01 in alpine skiing women's super-G! #WinterOlympics https://t.co/YtEpNzDMDu pic.twitter.com/EeoHuALcKX
— NBC Olympics (@NBCOlympics) February 17, 2018
There was a perfect storm of obstacles that Ledecka had to overcome to achieve what appeared to be an impossible task. Repeated weather postponements led American ski star Mikaela Shiffrin to drop out of the Super-G competition, leading many to believe that reigning champion Anna Veith of Austria would be a lock for the gold medal.
The presumption looked like more and more of a guarantee when even skiers like Lindsey Vonn had trouble riding down the mountain cleanly. This still didn't make much of a difference for Ledecka, as she had never finished higher than 29th in the event.
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But Shiffrin skipping out also meant that Ledecka was able to borrow the American's skis for her run down the mountain. With Shiffrin's skis on her feet, the Czech Olympian had the run of her life and finished in 1:21.12, enough to leap over Veith by 0.01 seconds and earn a gold medal.
While commentators and fans were surprised at what had just happened after the run, Ledecka was caught off guard herself. She kept her goggles on during her press conference and said, "I was not prepared being at this ceremony, and I don’t have no makeup."
It's tough to deny that the Olympics are a magical event when the improbable becomes reality.