Ester Ledecka trying to be two sport olympic athlete

While others think Ester Ledecka is crazy, she’s intent on becoming a two-sport Olympic athlete. Photo: Courtesy of Ester Ledecka/FIS

What would you do if you won a snowboarding world championship? The answer to that question for Czech athlete Ester Ledecka is to pick up skis and become a two-sport Olympic hopeful, obviously.

As reported by the Associated Press, 20-year-old Ledecka won the parallel slalom in alpine snowboarding at last year’s World Championship of Snowboarding and followed that performance up by making her debut in World Cup skiing. In doing so, she became the first-ever world champion snowboarder to compete in the skiing World Cup.

“It’s pretty incredible what she’s able to do,” World Cup leader Lindsey Vonn told the AP. “I wish I had that much athletic talent. I’m only good at skiing. I only have the one sport.”

This season, Ledecka has been competing in the downhill skiing and super giant slalom disciplines of the skiing World Cup and has more than held her own for a rookie: In four of her first five races this season, Ledecka finished in the points (top 30) amongst the field.

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“I’m always confused,” Ledecka told the AP. “Every time when I switch from one to another my coaches are saying either that I’m skiing like a snowboarder or snowboarding like a skier.”

“Everybody thinks I’m crazy,” Ledecka said after finishing 23rd in Saturday’s downhill ski race in La Thuile, Italy. “I know. I am crazy. But I love the way it is and I love that all the girls here are really nice to me and welcome me.”

Ledecka says she has her sights set on even greater goals. After narrowly failing to qualify for the Czech ski team in the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, Ledecka says she wants to become the first athlete to represent her country in both skiing and snowboarding at the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.

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