If there was any doubt that double Olympic gold medalist Ester Ledecká was actually a superhero on the slopes, there is now proof.
The free-spirited Ledecká – who shocked the ski and snowboard worlds racing to an improbable victory in the alpine skiing super-G, followed by a snowboard parallel giant slalom win at the Pyeongchang 2018 Winter Olympics – is now starring in her own online video game called ‘Scratch Wars’.
“I’m really excited – it’s a great project, a Czech project and it’s quite big already,” Ledecká said, at a recent news conference at Občanská Plovárna in Prague.
“The game, like me, is about trying to fight for success in the world,” Ledecká says. “This is why I’m supporting it and because I like it. It’s great stuff and not only for children – there’s an inner-child in everyone, right?”
With Ledecka as the “Esterminator”, gamers can explore new planets, battle, and defeat evil opponents. Scratch Wars was developed by the Karlín-based company Notre Game. It is downloadable and free as players scratch off and scan collectible cards into an app for iOS or Android.
Ledecká, who lives in Prague’s Old Town when not traveling the globe for competitions, intends to once again juggle an ambitious schedule of both skiing and snowboard World Cup races this winter. She says that no matter win or lose, she’ll do so with a big smile.
“I’m having fun doing both sports – riding down on a snowboard, riding down on skis and I’m just enjoying every run, so that’s why I’m happy all the time,” Ledecká says. “I couldn’t imagine doing just one sport.”
Cooperating alongside her are snowboard coach Justin Reiter and skiing coach Tomas Bank, instrumental players in Ledecka’s efficient training plan, which sees the Olympic athlete maximizing time on the mountain in order in order to hone both disciplines.
“It’s important to have a great team and great coaches around me – I’m proud of them,” Ledecká says. “Also to have fun and give 100-percent all of the time.”
Reiter, a snowboard world championship silver medalist who represented the United States at the Sochi 2014 Olympics, is a Colorado native. To better accommodate Ledecká’s hectic schedule, he recently relocated to Germany.
“We’re collaborating more this season using the same locations for both skiing and snowboarding so that we can simplify the travel schedule,” Reiter says abut the team’s gameplan.
“The challenge for Ester in terms of being the best in the world in skiing and snowboarding, aside from beating her competitors, is beating the clock in terms of time, so we’re always trying to milk time out of more days,” he says.
“She’s trying to be two competitive athletes in two different sports in one day, whereas everyone else is trying to do one sport in one day.”
The two-time Olympian from Prague is seeking her fifth consecutive snowboard parallel overall title this winter. Achieving top alpine skiing results has been a tougher challenge for Ledecká. She has attained three top-ten finishes in downhill races over the past two seasons, two of which came in Lake Louise, Canada.
Ledecká competed in six World Cup snowboard and 12 ski races last season, in addition to the Alpine Ski World Championships in Åre, Sweden, where her best result was 15th.
The talented Czech athlete says she is constantly observing and learning from U.S. three-time overall World Cup champion, Mikaela Shiffrin, both of whom race on Atomic skis.
“For me, she is a big inspiration with her skiing and technique,” Ledecká says about her fellow 24-year-old ski racer. “We are always watching videos of her runs and trying and find the best lines. It’s great to have her around.”
Ledecká will open her 2019-2020 season with two World Cup downhills and a super-G race in Lake Louise, December 6-8.
For more on Scratch Wars, visit the game’s website.