Victory favors the company of optimists. She’s drawn to people who are imaginative and brave. She’s unpredictable and daring and is unconcerned with rivalry or redemption. Sometimes Victory flies right past you, other times she flies with you to an extraordinary place atop the Olympic podium.
There’s no room for doubt when standing at the starting gate of the women’s Super-G race at the Jeongseon Alpine Center. With a vertical drop of 585m, competitive instinct and training must be aligned to excel at this speed event.1 The Super-G only allows one run down the mountain so confidence must prevail over distractions like media predictions, discouraging odds for newcomers, and worrisome weather conditions like strong winds. Rather than fear the wind, Ester Ledecka, from the Czech Republic, rode the wind to a stunning gold medal finish on February 17th. In a time of 1:21.11, Ms. Ledecka soared from her rank of 43rd in the Super-G to 1st place.2
Before winning the Super-G race, Ms. Ledecka, was best known as a champion snowboarder. Despite receiving experts’ advice to specialize in one sport, her ambition lead her to also pursue ski events. This decision made her the first person to compete in snowboarding and Alpine Ski events at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics. 3
Optimists tend to have unwavering faith in their ability to succeed, so they’re willing to work hard and take risks. Ledecka, 22, was so astounded by her win that she couldn’t quite explain how it happened. “All the other girls didn’t risk a lot, “ Ledecka said. “There must be a lot of pressure on them. “I was just trying to do my best run.” 4