Ted Ligety GS Gold in Olympic Alpine Skiing

Posted By: The Ski Channel on February 19, 2014 9:19 am

Ted Ligety (Park City, UT) laid down a truly Olympic performance Wednesday to earn his first-ever Giant Slalom gold medal for the USA at the 2014 Sochi Olympic Winter Games. Ligety led by 0.93-seconds after his first run at the sunny Rosa Khutor venue, where he was able to become the second American in history to win two alpine gold medals after Andrea Mead Lawrence in 1952. France filled out the podium with Steve Missillier earning silver and Alexis Pinturault with bronze.

Ted Ligety, sochi 2014, olympics, alpine skiing, ski racing

Ted is the man! Ligety proudly carrying the American flag with a huge smile after winning gold in Sochi!  #GoTeamUSA! Photo: @Ted_Ligety 

“Today was awesome. There’s not really any other way to put it,” said a happy Ted Ligety. “This is something I’ve been working for since I was a little kid. Being the favorite in alpine skiing is never easy, because it’s an event that’s so far from being guaranteed and not an event that’s super simple to win even if you’re skiing the best in the world. There are so many different factors out there. It’s really easy to go out of the course. It’s really easy for conditions to not match up to your technique. So to be able to win today when I knew that I had a very good chance and knew the pressures of it was an awesome feeling.”

After his gold medal earned in 2006 Super Combined, Ligety is now the second American in history to win two alpine gold medals with Wednesay’s gold. Andrea Mead Lawrence was the only other American to do so in Olso in 1952, when she won gold in slalom and giant slalom.

“This one is way more meaningful than my first one,” Ligety stated. “I’m not going to say my first gold medal was easy, but it came a lot easier. There was a lot less struggles of the World Cup and struggles of the grind that I hadn’t experienced up to that point. To win a gold medal now, especially having Vancouver being really tough and the Olympics so far here have been somewhat lackluster, and to be able to throw down in an event that I had the most pressure in and I was the favorite in, to be able to do that is awesome. This was really the event that I wanted to win. To be able to pull down in that kind of pressure and to be up there with some of the greats is really an honor.

“It was a huge relief. I’ve been wanting to win this medal for my whole life and even more so in the last few years. All season long everybody talks about the Olympics, Olympics, Olympics…at a certain point I was like, ‘Let’s do it already. Let’s just get this thing over with so we can stop talking about the pressure and everything with it.’ So it’s awesome to be able to come here and compete and finally do it and get the monkey off the back.”

Ted Ligety, sochi 2014, olympics, alpine skiing, ski racing

 

A huge moment for Ted Ligety at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia. Photo: Sarah Brunson | U.S. Ski Team

Tim Jitloff (Reno, NV) muscled through the challenging course to finish 15th in his very first Olympic appearance, while Jared Goldberg (Holladay, UT) skied into 19th. Sochi super G bronze medalist Bode Miller (Franconia, NH) finished 20th.

“It’s asking a bit much of my left knee still on those kinds of bumps,” said Olympian Bode Miller. “Right in the middle, there’s a left-footed turn that just seems like crazy big bumps. I just look at it thinking maybe I could do it, but confidence-wise I don’t feel comfortable dropping it in that way and it’s cost me both runs there. This is pretty aggressive stuff for the lower leg. The snow is so grippy and kind of jerks you around nonstop. We’ll see how it feels after this and make a call.”

Ted Ligety, sochi 2014, olympics, alpine skiing, ski racing

Men’s GS during the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics. Photo: Sarah Brunson/ U.S. Ski Team

“Ted has shown for several years that he’s the best GS skier, especially when the conditions are like this, kind of rolling and high-speed,” said Miller. “Other guys are having trouble carrying momentum the whole way down. They make some really good turns and some good sections and then they scrub a little bit over a piece of terrain. Ted just carries his speed so smooth top to bottom and he makes time the whole way down.

“I feel really good about where I’m at. I came back really strong, I really did a lot of work and I put in the time. That leaves me with a really positive feeling. I really feel like I did my best. Obviously I feel like I was capable of more, but my effort and my intensity were as good as I can possibly put out there. The Olympics are a super-challenging situation because you want to come in and do everything you can, but only one guy wins. I really feel like I did what I could and I came out with a medal, so I’m happy.”

 

Alpine Skiing Men’s Giant Slalom Final Results:
The Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics
Run 1
Run 2
Total
Difference
Gold
1:21.08
1:24.21
2:45.29
-
Silver
FranceSteve Missillier
1:22.58
1:23.19
2:45.77
+0.48
Bronze
FranceAlexis Pinturault
1:22.44
1:23.49
2:45.93
+0.64
4
AustriaMarcel Hirscher
1:22.47
1:23.76
2:46.23
+0.94
5
Czech RepublicOndřej Bank
1:22.01
1:24.28
2:46.29
+1.00

 

The historic race airs on NBC’s Primetime Olympic coverage at 8:00 p.m. EST Wednesday, and both runs can be streamed in their entirety on NBCOlympics.com. Next, World Champion Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, CO) and the women battle for the Olympic slalom title Friday Feb. 21.

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