This is a question that many people asked themselves over the last year. The answer is simple: she’s back on the podium. After a collar bone injury suffered in the summer of 2022, Ester Ledecká sat out the entire year only to come back with a second place in Rogla (Slo) in Parallel GS and a first place in Berchestgaden (Ger) in Parallel Slalom. We had a quick chat after her victory about the plans for next year.
LEVEL: How does it feel to be back on the slopes after one year?
ESTER LEDECKÁ: It is an amazing feeling! I missed it a lot!
L: On what did you set your mind during one year without racing?
EL: I was trying to stay sharp and focused on rehabilitation and I was trying to catch up with my school work because I want to finish up my Master’s degree this year.
L: What’s the best and worst thing about an off-season like this year?
EL: The good thing is that I had more time for my family and friends, the worst thing is watching everyone racing and having fun and not being able to speed up the recovery process.
L: What are your sensations after the first race of 2023?
EL: I’m happy that I was able to race this season at least in one of my sports. I’m proud of myself and my team. We were able to prepare in such a short time and be able to reach big finals in two different disciplines and even win the second time. It was fun!
L: We saw you back on the snowboard, what about alpine skiing?
EL: I got the green light from doctors at the end of February. After such a long time and two surgeries, Snowboarding was a safer choice from the start. In this discipline, we could eliminate the contact between my shoulder and the gates and the speed in snowboarding is also a bit lower than on skis. Also, I had zero training in DH or SG, I mean I had no training in Snowboarding but it all just kind of played out for snowboarding this time.
L: What is your plan for the summer?
EL: I will do hopefully lots of skiing, Snowboarding and windsurfing.
L: How do you see the next 23/24 FIS Alpine Skiing Season?
EL: I’m excited to be able to race on skis soon too. I will do my best to be ready for it.
L: How do you see the next 23/24 FIS Alpine Snowboard Season?
EL: I think we set the right tone for the next season with the last race of this season. I hope the schedule for both sports will allow me to be part of many races in both disciplines.
L: Will we see you in Sölden in October?
EL: I’m not sure about that. I’m still planning to specialize in speed disciplines, but if the schedule allows it then why not.
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