The two-sport athlete from the Czech Republic, who is also competing in Alpine snowboarding in PyeongChang, had never finished better than 19th in a World Cup super-G.
The four-time world champion, a super-G bronze medalist in 2010, will compete again on Wednesday in the downhill and victory would make her only the third American alpine skier to win three career Olympic medals.
The sport, which enjoys a much younger demographic than skiing, came into its own in the 1990s as the showpiece of the Winter X Games before being accepted as an Olympic sport in 1998. Toronto's Candace Crawford and Roni Remme ended in 29th and 37th, respectively. "But my snowboard coach wants me on snowboard". There must be a lot of pressure on them.
"I think she had a pretty good run so she deserved it". "She stayed in her heart and she stayed in her own head and she skied like she can ski and it was lovely to watch".
In Jeongseon, Ledecka simply couldn't believe she was No. 1 on the videoboard standings moments after crossing the finish line.
The greatest female ski racer of all time, one of the favourites for the event, finished sixth in a magnificent race won by snowboard specialist Ester Ledecka.
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However, it was another truly miserable day for world champion speed skater Christie as she followed up her earlier crash in the women's 500m with a painful exit from her 1500m semi-final. Ester, because she does snowboarding, we didn't know how strong she is.
Ledecka, whose grandfather Jan Klapac won bronze at the 1964 Innsbruck Games, and silver four years later in Grenoble for the then-Czechoslovakia ice hockey team, said her secret was keeping it simple.
Ledecka didn't blow anyone away in any particular section along the winding course, but she was consistent throughout her run. Weird because her best result ever in super-G was 19th. "I didn't know that this would be her first skiing podium". "I was looking at the board, thinking they are going to put up there a couple more seconds". And today she did.
Ester Ledecka on why she's still wearing her goggles, hours after winning Super-G: "I was not as prepared as the other girls". On Saturday, she skied down the Jeongseon course in relative obscurity.
Ledecka is skipping the downhill here to prepare for Thursday's snowboarding parallel giant slalom. "I don't have any make-up", said the 22-year-old. "It's an Olympic medal and after my injury, I'm so happy that I'm in this situation, that I can ski fast".
Although there were reports she was using a pair of American star Mikaela Shiffrin's skis, turns out that wasn't the case.
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You know which is Pogba's favourite position in a 4-3-3? But some of the guys [reporters] are paid millions. And the team needs him at a good level. "So he's ill and now we have to wait to see what is going on".
"For sure, why not?!" she said.
"I would rather go riding my snowboard now", Ledecka said, laughing. On one of the final turns, Vonn lost her balance and nearly fell, but was able to recover and finish strong, however it cost her a medal.
Vonn hit back at Trump supporters on Twitter Saturday after they expressed excitement over the Olympian falling during her race. I thought I had the turn finished sooner than I did and I lost elevation. "Really good. Really good". Just made one mistake. Not everyone has to like me but my family loves me and I sleep well at night. "This is for my Grandpa!"
It took only six racers before Vonn was bumped out of the running for a possible medal.
Veith had looked set to become the first woman to defend an Olympic super-G title until Ledeka's sensational run, clocked at one minute 21.11 seconds.
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Israeli media said it was the highest number of Israelis wounded in a single incident since the 2014 Gaza war. Still, Israeli army spokesman Jonathan Conricus blamed Hamas for the blast, in remarks on Twitter.