Ted Ligety Wins Gold at Giant Slalom World Championship: First Man in 45 Years to Take Three Events!

Posted By: The Ski Channel on February 15, 2013 9:52 am

History has been made today at the the World Cup Championships in Schladming, Austria! Olympic champion Ted Ligety skied to victory yet again in the championship giant slalom, becoming the first man in 45 years to win gold in three World Championship events!

Ted Ligety - Giant Slalom World Championship

Ted Ligety celebrates an historic third gold at the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in Schladming. (Getty Images/AFP-Samuel Kubani)

“If you want to call me the King of Schladming, that’s cool with me,” joked Ligety. “This has been a crazy, unbelievable week – definitely far exceeded my expectations. to win three gold meals here is awesome and to join some of the legends of the sport. There was definitely a lot of pressure coming into the GS as the defending champion. With those gold medals it definitely added a lot of extra pressure.”

It has truly been an amazing week for Ligety, who in true wild card fashion secured surprise victories in the super G and super combined events. However, when it comes to giant slalom, Ted Ligety is the man to beat. The skier clocked a 1.30 second lead in teh first run to win by .81 seconds over Austrian rival Marcel Hirscher.

Ted spoke about his competitor, saying, “Marcel has been really pushing me the last couple years in GS. He’s been a big motivate to continue the level of training and pushing as hard as I do. It’s not easy having such a young guy like that be so, so good at such a young age. I’ve had to push really hard and he’s pushed me to a new level.”

Ligety now joins the ranks of Jean Claude Killy who won four events in 1968 for France, Toni Sailer who won four events in 1956 for Austria, Stein Eriksen who won three events in 1954, and Emile Allais who won three events in 1937 for France. He also matches fellow teammate Bode Miller, who shares a career total of four World Championship gold. Ted of course, won last year’s giant slalom championship, which makes him the sixth skier to win the event two consecutive years in a row.

Head Coach of the men’s team Sasha Rearick, spoke to the historic nature of today’s victory, explaining, “No one has done this in the modern era because of the development of the World Cup. You have tremendous athletes, programs, national teams and company support pushing at a very high level. Over the last 30 years, specialists have developed in multiple events so to be able to win in three events has been impossible. When you think of the greats like Lasse Kjus, Kjetil Aamodt and Hermann Maier – and they haven’t done it. It’s amazing, absolutely amazing achievement for Ted.”

Fellow Americans Tim Jitloff skied well in the event to place 16th, while Robby Kelley finished 26th in his first career World Championship appearance.