Ted Ligety led the U.S. Ski Team to earn super G gold at the FIS Alpine World Championships in Schladming, Austria! Using his finely tuned slalom skills, Ted took a used the steep bottom section to his advantage, overtaking his nearest competitor, France's Gauthier De Tessieres by .02 seconds! Norway's Aksel Lund Svindal, who was favored to win, suffered an error that cause him to settle for bronze. The Norwegian skiing sensation held the lead most of the way before a late mistake cost him the lead, finishing two hundredths behind De Tessieres.
“I thought actually I had a good chance here because my super G is going well,” Ligety said. “But knowing this hill, I knew it would be good for someone like me who is more of a GS type skier. I put a lot of risk especially on the bottom where it was steeper. The whole way I was just trying to link up turns. I saw a lot of guys sliding the top of the turn I new I was capable of making it cleaner.”
This historic victory is a career first for Ligety, who has never won a super G at any race level! The best he's ever done in the event was a second place finish at Val d'Isere in 2009. Ligety was running tenth in flat light, then used the technical skiing ability learned from giant slalom to knife the bottom section of the course and take the lead.
Ligety spoke of his dynamic performance at the end of the course, saying, “The bottom I knew I could make up time – it suited my technique. I took a lot of risk. It was a good day.
Even the competition recognized the level of skiing Ted achieved. Aksel Lund Svindal, said , “I saw Ted's run. He went full risk all the way and made no mistakes.”
The win marks the skiers third World Championships medal and second gold. Ligety earned a bronze back in 2009 at the Val d'Isere giant slalom, and gold at the Garmisch giant slalom in 2011.
Many are comparing Ted's victory to Daron Rhalves' win in back in 2001, where he led Team USA to victory in the face of steep competition from the native-Austrian competition at the World Championships in St. Anton, Austria.
Daron Rhalves spoke on the significance of his 2001 victory, explaining, “To compete in Austria was the most important place for me to perform besides at home on the USA. Winning Worlds in front of the Austrian fans and coming out on top over two of the most dominant Austrians Maier and Eberharter was a big deal. Like Kitz, St Anton helped put me on a legendary list.”
In addition to propelling Ted's career to legendary status, it is a highly momentous day for the U.S. Ski Team as well. The last time the men's team achieved such a victory was in 2005 when Bode Miller took gold for the USA in Bormio, Italy.
Fellow teammates Tommy Biesemeyer and Ryan Cochran-Siegle performed well in the face of steep international competition finishing in 13th and 15th, respectively.
Coming up next is a combined event for the women's team, and a downhill on Saturday for the men's team.