Sport often creates fairy-tale, dreams-come-true stories. Recently, one of the most remarkable was written at the PyeongChang 2018 Olympic Winter Games, when a Czech athlete supported by Coca-Cola – Ester Ledecká – won two gold medals.

Why are Ledecká's two golds so extraordinary? She became the first-ever athlete to win in Olympic snowboarding and skiing events. Even to compete at the Olympic Games in two disciplines is an incredible achievement, but to win gold in both? Well, that’s off the scale.

To put her victories into perspective, Ledecká's speciality is snowboarding, having won five World Cup races this year. She has only competed in downhill skiing since 2014-15 and, although steadily climbing the rankings, was never considered a medal contender.

Now, she’s a double Olympic Champion.

Ester Ledecká

Instant Celebrity

Not surprisingly, the world is now talking about the unassuming 22 year old, with TIME magazine calling her ski and snowboard golds “one of the most impressive feats in Olympic history”.

Coca-Cola first started working with Ledecká a year ago, collaborating with her as a long-term ambassador. Coca-Cola’s general manager in the Czech Republic, Josef Karasek, recalls: “Even before she rewrote the record books in PyeongChang, we could already see that Ester had a special talent, and were impressed by her focus and dedication. And we also loved her personality, which shares so many qualities with Coca-Cola. She’s full of fun and optimism, making you smile when you meet her, and she’s a true original – authentic, inspiring, humble and down-to-earth.”

Ester Ledecká

Family Story

This humility was plain to see in her comments after winning her second gold medal. “Thanks to my family, my greatest team, for taking such incredible care of me,” she said. “It is all because of them. Me… I just go downhill.”

Ledecká's family is also loaded with extraordinary talent. Her grandfather, Jan Klapac, was a hockey star; her dad, Janek Ledecký, is a famous Czech pop star; and her brother, Jonáš, is a renowned graphic artist. He has helped to build his sister’s following, designing her personal brand (STR) and even a superhero comic-book personality.

Back home in the sports-mad Czech Republic, Ledecká's Olympic heroics have made her a national hero and media sensation. That was evident this week when she flew home to a rapturous reception. The mayor of Prague organized an official welcome celebration, with 8,000 fans flocking to the capital to applaud their new superstar.

Social Media Star

Coca-Cola’s social media and marketing teams have played an important role in connecting Ledecká with her fans. Since January, she has been featured on two Coca-Cola cans in the Czech market – one as a snowboarder and the other as a skier – and when she won her Super G gold, she was presented with a special golden can. A photo of her in a triumphant pose with the can was an instant hit on Instagram and Facebook, with 500,000 views. A few days later, her fans could hold the golden can for themselves, as it was distributed in stores across the Czech Republic.

Taking Risks

It’s plain to see that Ledecká is not just a supremely talented athlete, but a very special personality. Listening to her talk about her journey to double gold-winning success can make us all think of what might be possible, with the right mindset and determination.

“When I try a different sport, it takes me a long time to get it right,” she says. But when I am failing at something, it makes me even more motivated and determined to succeed.”

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