Ted Ligety

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Ted Ligety
— Alpine skier —
Ted Ligety Hinterstoder 2006.jpg
Ted Ligety in Hinterstoder, Austria on Dec. 21, 2006
Disciplines Giant slalom, super-G,
slalom, combined, downhill
Club Park City Ski Education Foundation
Born (1984-08-31) August 31, 1984 (age 30)
Salt Lake City, Utah, U.S.
Height 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
World Cup debut November 22, 2003 (age 19)
Website tedligety.com
Olympics
Teams 3 – (2006, 2010, 2014)
Medals 2 (2 gold)
World Championships
Teams 5 – (200513)
Medals 5 (4 gold)
World Cup
Seasons 10th – (200514)
Wins 23 – (22 GS, 1 SC)
Podiums 46 – (1 DH, 1 SG, 2 SC, 35 GS, 6 SL)
Overall titles 0 – (3rd – 2013)
Discipline titles 5 – (5 GS)

Theodore Sharp "Ted" Ligety (born August 31, 1984) is an alpine ski racer from the United States. He is a two-time Olympic gold medalist who won the combined event at the 2006 Olympics in Turin and the giant slalom race at the 2014 Olympics in Sochi. Ligety is also a five-time World Cup champion in giant slalom (2008, 2010, 2011, 2013 and 2014[1]). Ligety won the gold medal in the giant slalom at the 2011 World Championships. He successfully defended his world title in giant slalom in 2013 in Schladming, Austria, where he also won an unexpected gold medal in the super-G and a third gold medal in the super combined.[2] Through February 2014, he has 23 victories (22 in giant slalom and 1 super combined) and 46 podiums in World Cup competition.[3]

His Olympic giant slalom gold medal, 22 GS World Cup wins, 2 GS world championship gold medals and 5 World Cup titles make him one of the greatest giant slalom skiers of all time.[4]

Early life and career[edit]

Ligety was born in Salt Lake City, Utah, the son of Cyndi Sharp and Bill Ligety, who are real estate agents.[5][6] He grew up in Park City and began skiing at two and racing at ten. He attended The Winter Sports School and graduated in 2002. Ligety was named to the U.S. Skiing Development Team and won a silver medal in slalom in the Junior World Championships in 2004. He made his first start in a World Cup event during the 2004 World Cup season in the giant slalom at Park City. In the summer of 2004, Ligety and U.S. Ski Team head coach Sasha Rearick studied Fu Style Tai Chi.[7][8] The next winter in the 2005 season, Ligety was added to the U.S. Ski Team full-time, during which he had four top-15 finishes in slalom, placing 24th overall in the discipline.

2006 season[edit]

Ligety recorded his first World Cup podium finish in the first slalom of the season, at Beaver Creek in December, and followed that up with a second and a third during the next three slaloms. Ligety's first major victory of his professional career came at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, held at Sestriere. Ligety won the gold medal in the men's combined event, a major upset after the two racers favored to win the event failed to finish the slalom portion. At age 21, he became the first American man to win an Olympic gold medal in alpine skiing in a dozen years, since Tommy Moe won the downhill at the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway. Ligety also became just the fourth American male skier to win Olympic gold, along with Moe, Phil Mahre (slalom, 1984) and Bill Johnson (downhill, 1984). At Turin, Ligety also participated in the giant slalom and the slalom, but he failed to complete either event. Following his Olympic victory in the combined, Ligety recorded his first World Cup victory, a win in the giant slalom in Yongpyeong, South Korea. He finished ninth in the overall World Cup standings for the year, marking the first time that three American men had placed in the top 10 (along with Bode Miller in third and Daron Rahlves in fourth), despite the fact that he did not compete in downhill or super-G that year.

2007 season[edit]

In the summer of 2006, Ligety changed his ski supplier from Völkl to Rossignol.[9] With Rahlves' retirement, Ligety began to compete in all five events. However, he managed only two podium finishes during the season, a second in slalom and a third in giant slalom. Disappointingly, he had three fourth place finishes, one in giant slalom, one in super combined, and one in the World Cup finals downhill, as well as a fourth place finish in the giant slalom at the 2007 World Championships in Åre, Sweden, missing a medal by 0.07 seconds. He finished eleventh overall in 2007.

2008 season[edit]

Ligety won his first World Cup season title in the giant slalom in 2008, and finished fifth in the overall standings. He won the final two giant slaloms of the year at Kranjska Gora and Bormio to edge out two-time defending champion Benjamin Raich of Austria for the season title. He also recorded four other podium finishes: a second and a third in giant slalom and two third places in slalom. In addition to his title, Ligety ranked seventh in combined and ninth in slalom.

2009 season[edit]

Ligety opened defense of his 2008 giant slalom title with a third place finish in Sölden, Austria, and then placed second at Beaver Creek, Colorado. At the 2009 World Championships in Val d'Isère, France, Ligety took the bronze medal in the giant slalom, then won his fourth World Cup race at Kranjska Gora. He finished the season with another second at the finals in Åre, Sweden, which left him ranked third in GS and ninth overall for the season.

2010 season[edit]

Ligety notched his fifth World Cup victory in January, his third win at Kranjska Gora in as many seasons. At the finals in Garmisch, Germany, he finished on the podium to secure his second season title in giant slalom, and finished seventh in the overall standings.

At the 2010 Vancouver Olympics at Whistler, he finished ninth in the giant slalom and fifth in the super combined; he was fifteenth in the downhill portion and first in the one slalom run to finish a half-second out of the medals.

2011 season[edit]

World Cup Champs Ted Ligety and Lindsey Vonn

After racing for four seasons on Rossignol skis, Ligety switched his equipment supplier to Head in the summer of 2010,[10] as fellow American champions Lindsey Vonn and Bode Miller did in previous seasons. Ligety won his sixth World Cup race in December 2010, his first win on home snow in the U.S., taking the giant slalom by a substantial 0.82 seconds at Beaver Creek, Colorado, the site of his first podium five years earlier. It was the first World Cup victory in the U.S. (and North America) by an American male in four years; the last was by Bode Miller in the downhill at Beaver Creek in December 2006. Six days later, Ligety won the next GS race in Val d'Isère, France, by over a full second.[11] He won his third consecutive GS race at Alta Badia, Italy, the following week.

In February he won his first world championship, taking gold in the giant slalom at the 2011 World Championships in Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany. Fourth after the first run, Ligety won by 0.08 seconds over Cyprien Richard of France.[12] He won his third season title in giant slalom in 2011.[13]

2012 season[edit]

Even though Ligety was able to win three giant slalom races during the season, he was dethroned as the discipline champion by an overall champion Marcel Hirscher from Austria.

2013 season[edit]

Ligety was very skeptical of the new FIS rules for the giant slalom, and cited David Dodge. Dodge stated that it was well known that if one tipped the new ski 7° more it would have the same turning radius than the old 27m ski. The greater knee angulation would then increase the risk of injury.[14][15][16][17][18] Doubts if the new rules would affect his level of skiing didn't last long as Ligety won the first race of the season in Soelden by a huge margin of 2.75 seconds over Manfred Moelgg who finished second. The season turned out to be the best in Ligety's career as he finished on podium in all eight giant slalom races of the season and winning six of them. That feat helped him to regain the discipline title. In overall standings Ligety finished on the career best 3rd place.

Ligety made his season even more impressive by winning three gold medals at the World Championships in Schladming. The first gold he won surprisingly in super-G race which was his first victory in the discipline in an international level. Ligety then won also the super combined event and successfully defended his title in the giant slalom. It was the first time in 45 years that one male skier won three gold medals in one championships.[19]

2014 season[edit]

Ted Ligety at the 2014 Olympics

Ligety won three giant slalom races prior to the 2014 Olympics in Sochi. On January 17, Ligety got his 20th career World Cup race victory, but the first one in any competition other than giant slalom. He was a winner of a super combined event in Wengen.

Coming to the Olympics Ligety was considered a favorite to win medals in three disciplines, but at his first attempt he finished in 12th place in the super combined. On the next race he ended up 14th in the super-G. While being under pressure as a big favorite to win a gold in the giant slalom, Ligety began his first run with an attacking attitude and had a 0.93 second lead before the final run. He then skied carefully on the second run to secure the first ever gold medal for American man in the discipline. Ligety became the first male American ski racer in history to win two Olympic gold medals in his career.[20]

After the Olympics, Ligety won the giant slalom in Kranjska Gora for the record sixth time. At the season finals in Lenzerheide he surprisingly finished second, tied with Christof Innerhofer, in the downhill race. The result was his first ever podium in downhill and made him only the second American skier in history, after Bode Miller, to podium in all five alpine skiing disciplines.[21][22] Ligety then finished fifth in the final super-G race. Before the last giant slalom race of the season Ligety was trailing Marcel Hirscher with 50 points for the discipline title. However, Ligety won the race with 0,03 seconds over Alexis Pinturault and with Hirsher finishing fourth, both skiers ended the season tied with 560 points. The Crystal Globe was however awarded to Ligety who won a tie-breaker while having five discipline victories during the season comparing to Hirsher's two. This was the fifth giant slalom title in Ligety's career.[23]

Other achievements[edit]

Ligety has won six national championships, putting him behind the all-time record of nine, held by Bode Miller and Tiger Shaw.

Following his Olympic gold medal at Turin, he started Shred Optics in 2006; Ligety designs all the products and uses them himself. The company produces ski goggles, sunglasses, and helmets.

Ligety served as the Director of Skiing for the now-bankrupt Mt. Holly Club, a private luxury ski and golf resort in southwestern Utah. It is located in eastern Beaver County, on the site of the former Elk Meadows ski area (1971–84).[24][25]

World Cup results[edit]

Season titles[edit]

  • 5 titles – (5 GS)
Season Discipline
2008 Giant slalom
2010 Giant slalom
2011 Giant slalom
2013 Giant slalom
2014 Giant slalom

Ingemar Stenmark is the only skier to have more GS season titles.

Season standings[edit]

Season Age Overall Slalom Giant
 slalom 
Super-G Downhill Combined
2004 19 132 54
2005 20 62 24
2006 21 9 4 12 13
2007 22 11 15 8 35 11
2008 23 5 9 1 40 7
2009 24 9 22 3 21 44
2010 25 7 24 1 14 14
2011 26 9 24 1 35 58 13
2012 27 9 15 2 34 47 13
2013 28 3 19 1 7 57
2014 29 4 23 1 20 26 1
  • Standings through 15 March 2014

Race victories[edit]

Although a GS specialist, Ligety is among the few alpine ski racers to have a World Cup podium finish in all five disciplines. Both in 2013 and 2014 he was the skier with the most victories that season and among the three skiers with the most podiums.

  • 23 wins – (22 GS, 1 SC)
  • 46 podiums:
    • 36 in GS: 22 wins, 5 second places, 9 third places
    • 6 in SL: 3 second places, 3 third places
    • 2 in SC : winner of the 2014 Wengen super combined, 1 second place
    • 1 in SG: runner-up in December 2009 at Val d'Isère.
    • 1 in DH: runner-up in March 2014 at the World Cup Finals in Lenzerheide
Season Date Location Discipline
2006 Mar 5, 2006 Yongpyong, South Korea Giant slalom
2008 Mar 8, 2008 Kranjska Gora, Slovenia Giant slalom
Mar 14, 2008 Bormio, Italy Giant slalom
2009 Feb 28, 2009 Kranjska Gora, Slovenia   Giant slalom  
2010 Jan 29, 2010 Kranjska Gora, Slovenia Giant slalom
2011 Dec 5, 2010 Beaver Creek, USA Giant slalom
Dec 11, 2010 Val d'Isère, France Giant slalom
Dec 19, 2010 Alta Badia, Italy Giant slalom
2012 Oct 23, 2011 Sölden, Austria Giant slalom
Dec 6, 2011 Beaver Creek, USA Giant slalom
Mar 10, 2012 Kranjska Gora, Slovenia Giant slalom
2013 Oct 28, 2012 Sölden, Austria Giant slalom
Dec 2, 2012 Beaver Creek, USA Giant slalom
Dec 16, 2012 Alta Badia, Italy Giant slalom
Jan 12, 2013 Adelboden, Switzerland Giant slalom
Mar 9, 2013 Kranjska Gora, Slovenia Giant slalom
Mar 16, 2013 Lenzerheide, Switzerland   Giant slalom
2014 Oct 27, 2013 Sölden, Austria Giant slalom
Dec 8, 2013 Beaver Creek, USA Giant slalom
Jan 17, 2014 Wengen, Switzerland Super combined
Feb 2, 2014 St Moritz, Switzerland Giant slalom
Mar 8, 2014 Kranjska Gora, Slovenia Giant slalom
Mar 15, 2014 Lenzerheide, Switzerland Giant slalom

World Championships results[edit]

Through 2013, Ted Ligety has won five medals in the World Championships, four of them gold. He won three of them in giant slalom, after a bronze medal in 2009 in Val d'Isère behind Carlo Janka and Benjamin Raich he won the GS world title in 2011 besting Cyprien Richard and Philipp Schörghofer. Ligety repeated as world champion in GS in 2013, ahead of Marcel Hirscher and Manfred Mölgg. At Schladming in 2013, he became a triple world champion in giant slalom, super-G and combined at Planai.

Ligety became the fifth man in history to win three or more gold medals at one world championships and the first in 45 years, when Jean-Claude Killy won four in 1968 at Chamrousse, with the combined as a "paper race." Ligety is the first racer of either gender to win the super-G, giant slalom and combined at one world championships.[2][26][27]

  Year    Age   Slalom   Giant 
 slalom 
Super-G Downhill Combined
2005 20 DNF2 12
2007 22 DNF1 4 31 DNF2
2009 24 DNF2 3 DNF DSQ1
2011 26 19 1 DNF DNF2
2013 28 DNF1 1 1 1

Olympic results Olympic rings with white rims.svg[edit]

  Year    Age   Slalom   Giant 
 slalom 
Super-G Downhill Combined
2006 21 DSQ1 DNF1 1
2010 25 DNF1 9 19 5
2014 29 DNF2 1 14 12

Personal[edit]

Through a Citi charitable program, Ligety supports Youth Enrichment Services, an organization that takes urban youth to the mountains and teaches them how to ski and snowboard.[28]

Video[edit]

  • You Tube.com – victory at Kranjska Gora (1.61 sec) – from Universal Sports – March 10, 2012
  • You Tube.com – victory at Sölden (2.75 sec) – from Universal Sports – October 28, 2012
  • You Tube.com – victory at Adelboden (1.15 sec) – from Universal Sports – January 12, 2013
  • Bostock, Mike; Alexandra Garcia, Joe Ward and George Knowles. "Giant Slalom". New York Times. Retrieved February 18, 2014.  Audiovisual presentation of Ligety's style in the super-G.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Ligety takes final GS and fourth GS crown". Ski Racing.com. March 16, 2013. 
  2. ^ a b "Third Gold medal for Ted Ligety". Ski Racing.com. February 15, 2013. 
  3. ^ "Ted Ligety U.S.A.: Facts and Figures". Ski-Db.com. Matteo Pacor. Retrieved February 28, 2014. 
  4. ^ "Ski db - Alpine Ski Database". March 19, 2014. 
  5. ^ http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/11/sports/this-skiing-thing-works-out-all-right-for-ligety.html?_r=0
  6. ^ http://usatoday30.usatoday.com/sports/olympics/torino/alpine/2006-02-14-ligety-cover_x.htm
  7. ^ Peter M. Wayne, Mark L. Fuerst (2013). The Harvard Medical School Guide to Tai Chi. Shambhala. p. 179. ISBN 978-1590309421. 
  8. ^ Waldburger, Adia (November 13, 2004). "Tai Chi Classes Return to Park City". The Park Record. 
  9. ^ Ligety, Ted (October 24, 2006). "New sponsor will help meet the need for speed". Denver Post. Retrieved January 27, 2013. 
  10. ^ Sports Illustrated – December 3, 2010 – accessed December 5, 2010
  11. ^ "World Cup skiing: Ligety crushes field, wins another giant-slalom title". Salt Lake Tribune. December 11, 2010. 
  12. ^ "Gold medal for USA’s Ted Ligety". Ski Racing.com. February 18, 2011. 
  13. ^ Dunbar, Graham (March 18, 2011). "Ted Ligety wins World Cup giant slalom title". Forbes (Forbes.com LLC). Associated Press. Retrieved March 18, 2011. 
  14. ^ Ted Ligety, Skiing's Most Outspoken Critic, Is Still the Best in the World, bleacher report, October 28, 2012.
  15. ^ A Letter To FIS, David Dodge, 2011.
  16. ^ [1]
  17. ^ Update on Injury Trends in Alpine Skiing, Johnson, Etlinger, Shealy, Update on Injury Trends in Alpine Skiing, 2009
  18. ^ Unfälle und Verletzungen im alpinen Skisport, David Schulz, Auswertungsstelle für Skiunfälle, Stiftung Sicherheit im Skisport, 2011.
  19. ^ http://www.nytimes.com/2013/02/16/sports/ted-ligety-pulls-off-rare-triple-at-skiing-championships.html
  20. ^ http://www.nytimes.com/2014/02/20/sports/olympics/ligety-takes-big-lead-in-giant-slalom.html?_r=0
  21. ^ http://alpine.usskiteam.com/news/ligety-adds-downhill-podium-bio
  22. ^ http://skiracing.com/stories/ligety-collects-fifth-discipline-podium-as-runner-up-in-downhill/
  23. ^ http://skiracing.com/stories/ligety-grabs-fifth-gs-globe-by-skin-of-his-teeth/
  24. ^ Colorado Ski History.com – Utah – Elk Meadows / Mt. Holly – accessed June 6, 2010
  25. ^ Gorrell, Mike (November 9, 2009). "Elk Meadows ski resort on auction block". Salt Lake Tribune. 
  26. ^ "Ted Ligety wins GS, becomes 1st man in 45 years to win 3 golds at a world championships". Washington Post. Associated Press. February 15, 2013. 
  27. ^ Lewis, Michael C. (February 15, 2013). "Park City’s Ted Ligety dominates giant slalom for third gold at world championships". Salt Lake Tribune. 
  28. ^ Ligety, Ted (October 24, 2013). Citi: Ted Ligety for Citi's Every Step of the Way Program (video). Citi. Retrieved November 2, 2013. 

External links[edit]