Winter Olympics 2018: Veith admirably gracious after Ledecka snatches gold
Ester Ledecka pulled off one of the great Winter Olympic upsets in Pyeongchang on Saturday, but spare a thought for Anna Veith.
The defending Olympic champion in the ladies' super-G, Veith looked to have retained her title as she sat in gold medal position with all of the leading contenders for glory having completed their runs.
Indeed, a Veith triumph was viewed as such a certainty that American broadcaster NBC declared her the winner and cut away from the race.
Yet Ledecka - better known as a world champion snowboarder - had other ideas and sensationally pipped Veith by one hundredth of a second to claim the most unlikely of victories.
17FEB Alpine Skiing - Ladies' Super-G-- PyeongChang 2018 (@pyeongchang2018) February 17, 2018
2/17 ??? ?? - ?? ?????
Gold LEDECKA Ester / CZE
Silver VEITH Anna/ AUT
BronzeWEIRATHER Tina / LIE
The Czech Republic's Ledecka is ranked 43rd in super-G this season and has never made the podium of an FIS Alpine Skiing World Cup event.
Her amazement was clear after crossing the line, while Veith offered gracious congratulations to the shock champion.
"I want to congratulate her," said Veith of Ledecka. "At first, yeah, I thought that [my run] was maybe the best run. Ester, because she does snowboarding, we didn't know how strong she is. When she makes a better time, then she deserves it."
Veith was eager to focus on the positives after overcoming severe knee injuries to return to an Olympic podium.
"I'm happy about my run," added the Austrian. "It's an Olympic medal and after my injury, I'm so happy that I'm in this situation, that I can ski fast.
"For me, the last years were so hard and I was pretty nervous because I knew that the super-G was the only discipline where I have a real [medal] chance this time.
"In Sochi [where she won in 2014], it was a bit different. For me, it's a dream come true because the last two years were so hard and I never knew that I can ski so fast again."