Lindsey Vonn and Ted Ligety ready for first World Cup of season

Posted By: The Ski Channel on October 21, 2009 7:07 am

U.S. Ski Team athlete and Park City local Ted Ligety seems to be pretty comfortable when it comes to the Audi FIS Alpine World Cup opener in Soelden. The 2006 Olympic combined gold medalist has notched two podiums there over the past two years, and this season looks like it could deliver a repeat (or several). “I’m skiing stronger at this point in the year than I ever have,” said Ligety. “We skied a ton more GS at the Portillo speed camp this season and that was a big help. My knee feels great and I’m excited to get things going.”

Joining Ligety at Soelden is teammate Tim Jitloff who scored his first World Cup points in Soelden last year, along with fellow U.S. Ski Team tech star Jake Zamansky. Also starting for the U.S. are Tommy Ford and a yet-to-be-determined athlete, who will be decided upon after a time trial in Saas Fee.  

On the women’s side, Lindsey Vonn is tops with five World Cup titles under her belt and a likely hunger for more. Vonn has several top-ten finishes in GS, including a career best fourth at last winter’s Aspen Winternational World Cup, yet she’s hoping to do better. “It’s on the list of goals for the season,” said Vonn. “But I do have a pretty long list. I can say that I’m feeling better than I ever have on my giant slalom skis. They felt so comfortable the first time I clicked into them in New Zealand and that hasn’t changed. I still have some more testing to do to get

everything right, but I’m ready for Soelden.”

Also ready for the World Cup start is 2006 Olympic GS gold medalist Julia Mancuso, who after a rough season last year is looking stronger than ever. “We’re really encouraged with Julia’s preparation this year,” said women’s Head Coach Jim Tracy. “She is healthy and feeling strong on her skis, plus she’s hungry and ready to get things started. Sarah is also ripping in GS right now. We’ll have a good group in there.”

The ladies group also includes Park City native Megan McJames who last year scored a personal best 14th in Soelden, along with two other athletes to be named this week. Festivities kick off Friday with a bib draw before the women ski on Saturday and the men on Sunday.