Ted Ligety is not done yet
January 21, 2013
When Ted Ligety was 10 years old and just starting his ski racing career with the Park City Ski Team, he dreamed he’d someday be where he is today.
With a victory at Adelboden, Switzerland, on Jan. 12, the Park City resident has now won every classic World Cup giant slalom race. He now has 15 career World Cup giant slalom victories.
"It was always a goal of mine," he said. "When you set those goals as a kid, you don’t necessarily believe them 100 percent, but to accomplish that is sort of surreal. It’s pretty humbling."
Now he’s won everywhere from Adelboden to Alta Badia, Italy. But he’s not quite satisfied yet. There are still a few things left on his to-do list.
"My biggest career goal is winning an overall title," he said. "That’s something I’ve always really wanted to do."
Ligety is currently in third place in the overall standings with 676 points, behind Austria’s Marcel Hirscher (855 points) and Norway’s Aksel Lund Svindal (747). The overall standings combine a skier’s rank in six disciplines – the slalom, giant slalom, super G, downhill and combined and city events. The city events feature two racers competing head-to-head on a course about a third of the size of the regular course. These events have counted towards the World Cup standings since 2011.
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Ligety is currently the top-rated giant slalom skier and sixth in the super G.
"It’d be nice to make a run at the overall title," Ligety said. "If things go right, I think I have a chance at it."
A relative unknown when he won a combined gold medal at the 2006 Olympic Winter Games in Torino, Italy, he’s using a disappointing ninth-place finish in the giant slalom at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics as his fuel to succeed.
"That I didn’t walk away with a medal from there has definitely been a major motivating factor these past couple years," he said.
The motivation seems to be working, as Ligety has been doing some of his best skiing since the 2010 Olympics.
In fact, he’s doing so well that NBC took notice, making him the subject of a recent "U.S. Ski Team 36" show, following him through a 36-hour period at a race in Alta Badia.
"It’s a cool experience to be on NBC in front of millions of people," he said. "It was cool to share ski racing with all those people.
But, he added, he never got used to having the cameras following him constantly.
"It’s pretty weird when you have a camera crew following you from when you wake up to when you go to sleep," he said.
It didn’t affect Ligety too much, though, considering he went on to win the race.
"I was glad the race turned out well and I ended up winning," he said. "It would have been a bummer to have a bad race in front of them."
Ligety will try to continue his hot streak through March, when the World Cup finals take place in Lenzerheide, Switerland, concluding on the 17th. The 2013 World Championships will take place from Feb. 4 to Feb. 17 in Schladming, Austria.