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Alpine Athletes  »  Ted Ligety

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Height
5-11
Weight
190
 

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Skiing always comes first for 2006 and 2014 Olympic gold medalist and five-time World Cup giant slalom champion Ted Ligety. Whether it's dropping cliffs, taking the snowmobiles into the Utah backcountry or laying down some of the most incredible angles in all of ski racing, "Shred" is constantly pushing and evolving the sport.

Ligety had a lot to live up to following a historic 2013 season that solidified him as one of the legends of the sport. He again set the tone with season-opening wins in Soelden and Beaver Creek, and then rocketed into Sochi as the favorite to win the giant slalom gold medal. Being the favorite and then delivering on that expectation is the most challenging position to hold in all of sport. Ligety delivered and became the first American man to win a giant slalom gold medal, which also marked him as the only man in U.S. history to win two Olympic gold medals in alpine skiing.

Once the Sochi pressure subsided, Ligety was left with only an outside shot to win his fifth World Cup giant slalom title going into the season’s final race. Basically, he had to win the race and his number one competitor, Marcel Hirscher, had to finish fourth. Luckily for Ligety, both became reality and Ligety became the second man in history to have two seasons with five or more World Cup giant slalom wins. Ingemar Stenmark has done it three times.

To top it off, Ligety won a World Cup super combined (his first non-GS victory) and landed on the downhill podium. It’s safe to say he’s a serious future contender the World Cup overall title.

TED SAYS
There’s not really any other way to put it. Winning the Olympic GS is something I’ve been working for since I was a little kid. Being the favorite in alpine skiing is never easy, because it’s an event that’s so far from being guaranteed and not an event that’s super simple to win even if you’re the best in the world. There are so many different factors out there. It’s really easy to go out of the course. It’s really easy for conditions to not match up to your technique. So to be able to win today when I knew that I had a very good chance and knew the pressures of it was an awesome feeling.

This one is way more meaningful than my first one. I’m not going to say my first gold medal was easy, but it came a lot easier. There were a lot less struggles of the World Cup and struggles of the grind that I hadn’t experienced up to that point. To win a gold medal now, especially having Vancouver being really tough and the Olympics so far here have been somewhat lackluster, and to be able to throw down in an event that I had the most pressure in and I was the favorite in, to be able to do that is awesome. This was really the event that I wanted to win. To be able to pull down in that kind of pressure and to be up there with some of the greats is really an honor.

FIRST TRACKS
Ligety was on skis at two and began racing at 11, working his way from the Park City Farm Team on up to the Park City Ski Team. Although he played other sports as he went into high school, he says, “Skiing really was my only passion.” U.S. coaches watched and waited as he worked up through the junior ranks, and when he collected slalom silver at the 2004 Junior World Championships and then 23rd in a World Cup slalom, he clinched a place on the ’05 U.S. Ski Team.

OFF THE SNOW
Ligety is the mastermind behind Shred, a company he started with friend Carlo Salmini following the 2006 Olympics. Originally started with goggles, Shred now makes helmets, sunglasses, gloves and outerwear, but more importantly pushes the style envelop with ski racing. Aside from the biz, Ligety digs tennis, Formula one racing, waterskiing, ripping around the Utah backcountry and playing badminton in his backyard court.

 

Highlights

OLYMPICS (top 20)
Teams: 2006, 2010, 2014
Gold, GS, Sochi, 2014
Gold, Combined, Torino, ITA, 2006
5th, SC, Vancouver, CAN, 2010
9th, GS, Vancouver, CAN, 2010
19th, SG, Vancouver, CAN, 2010 

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIPS (medals)
Teams: 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013
Gold, GS, Schladming, AUT, 2013
Gold, SG, Schladming, AUT, 2013
Gold, SC, Schladming, AUT, 2013
Gold, GS, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, GER, 2011
Bronze, GS, Val d'Isere, FRA, 2009

WORLD CUP
Five-time GS champion (2008, 2010, 2011, 2013, 2014)
Won historic six of eight GS races, 2013
Third in overall standings, 2013
Top three in GS standings every season since 2008
First victory (GS, Yong Pyong, KOR, 2006)
First podium (3rd, SL, Beaver Creek, CO, 2005)

U.S. CHAMPIONSHIPS TITLES (7)
2013, SL, Squaw Valley, CA
2007, GS, Alyeska, AK
2007, Combined, Alyeska, AK
2006, SL, Sugarloaf, ME
2006, Combined, Sugarloaf, ME
2005, SL, Mammoth Mountain, CA
2005, Combined, Mammoth Mountain, CA