Three-time Olympic champion Ester Ledecká returns to racing after almost a year. The Czech winter sports star, who long suffered a broken collarbone last summer, awaits the Snowboard World Cup in Rogla on Wednesday.
She has so far won five of seven races in the Slovenian center’s parallel giant slalom, which she has entered since 2013.
“I look forward to it like a little girl and thank you once again to all the doctors and physiotherapists who brought me back to where I belong, to the snowy hill,” Ledecká wrote on Facebook.
After a summer accident on an electric skateboard, she had to undergo two operations with a broken collarbone, and it was not until the beginning of February that she was able to start training on the snowy slopes.
“My world is finally starting to turn in the right direction,” she breathes before her return to competition.
She last raced last year on March 17, when she raced the super-giant slalom in the Ski World Cup final. She has lost the current ski season, including the world championships, as the schedule is only this week’s final races in Andorra, where she has progressed based on the results of this year’s series.
The 27-year-old Czech representative will compete in snowboarding for the first time since last year’s Winter Olympics in Beijing, where she defended the Pyeongchang 2018 gold medal in the parallel giant slalom.
She last showed up at Rogle three years ago. Last year she was supposed to fight for a medal at the world championships here, but due to injury she dropped out just before the race. She also lost the World Snowboard Championship due to the aforementioned injury this season.
After the giant slalom in Slovenia, Ledecká is expected to move on to Berchtesgaden, Germany, where the parallel slalom will take place on Saturday March 18. This will be the last individual race of this year’s World Snowboard Championship.
Heading into the final two races, Switzerland’s Julie Zogg, the reigning parallel slalom world champion, tops the World Cup standings in the parallel disciplines.
Seventeenth place belongs to the best Czech representative Zuzana Maděrová.
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