Skier-snowboarder Ledecka upset with worlds schedules
SELVA DI VAL GARDENA, Italy — Skier-snowboarder Ester Ledecka will not be able to follow up her dual sport gold-medal performances at the Pyeongchang Olympics with a similar haul of world titles this season.
That’s because the schedule won’t allow it, and she’s not happy about it.
The parallel giant slalom at the freestyle ski and snowboard world championships in Utah is scheduled for Feb. 4 — the same day that downhill training opens at the skiing worlds in Are, Sweden, and a day before the super-G race.
“I was a little bit hoping they would reschedule the snowboard race — put it a week earlier so I could do it both — but they didn’t want to so I have to choose,” Ledecka said Tuesday after placing 29th in a World Cup downhill ski race.
At the Pyeongchang Olympics, Ledecka followed her super-G victory in Alpine skiing by winning the parallel GS in snowboarding — becoming the first athlete to win two golds at the same Winter Games using two different types of equipment.
The 23-year-old Czech athlete is the reigning world champion in parallel GS.
Ledecka said she has brought up the issue with the International Ski Federation, which governs both sports.
“On one side I see their point. For one athlete why should they do that, right? But from the other side I think I made snowboarding a little more popular and I think a lot of fans would be happy to see me compete in both,” Ledecka said. “It’s their decision and I have to respect it.”
Ledecka has not yet decided which worlds she’ll compete in. She’s currently going back and forth between the snowboard and ski circuits.
Last week, she finished first and second in two parallel GS races in Italy and then switched to downhill skis this week. She led the second downhill training session Monday.
“I think I can decide right before,” Ledecka said. “But it will probably be early so I’m well prepared.”