Ted Ligety sets sights on WC globe
As Park City enjoys (or perhaps curses) a warmer-than-average autumn, the snow has been flying in Austria ahead of the 2014-15 World Cup ski season kick-off this weekend.
The U.S. Alpine Ski Team is in Soelden, Austria, this weekend for a giant-slalom race, with the women taking the course on Saturday and the men racing on Sunday.
Park City resident Ted Ligety, a two-time Olympic gold medalist and the reigning World Cup GS champion, is on hand to try to get his 2014-15 season off to a roaring start.
Coming off a 2013-14 season that saw him win a gold medal in the GS at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, Ligety said he’s not going to rest on his accomplishments he wants to achieve even more.
"Winning that gold medal was definitely awesome," he said. "To achieve that under that kind of pressure was something I was really happy about. But I still feel like there’s a lot more to accomplish. I definitely have the goal of trying to win the overall globe."
Though Ligety has his sights set on an overall World Cup title (which combines GS, slalom, super G, downhill and combined) this year, he said he wants to set the tone with a victory in his best event in Soelden.
"I want to win that’s the big goal," he said. "I’ve had a lot of success here on the hill at Soelden."
Winning the overall globe will be tough, Ligety admits, but he knows what he has to do.
"It’s the same formula I’ve been saying the past couple years getting on the podium in slalom and being consistent there, being more consistent in super G and scoring a few more downhill points here and there in the ones I do race," he said. "It’s definitely not an easy task."
He’ll come into this season with a target on his back as the defending gold medalist and GS champion, but Ligety said he’s not concerned about the pressure.
"A lot changed in my life after the first gold medal [in the combined event at the 2006 Winter Olympics]," he said. "But I’ve been doing this for a lot of years, so not much has changed after the second one. I get recognized in more non-ski-related venues more often, but that’s about it."
Once Ligety is done racing in Soelden, he said he’ll head back to Park City for a few days. Then it’s off to Colorado for some training before heading to Levi, Finland, for a slalom event. Ligety will compete in Aspen, Colorado, Nov. 29-30, and in Beaver Creek, Dec. 2-7, in a series of 2015 World Championship test events.
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