Natural born skier
The Olympic combined champion at Turin 2006, Ted Ligety is the world’s greatest giant slalom skier, not to mention an accomplished all-rounder.
Park City educationFor a budding young skier like Ted Ligety, there was no better place to grow up than Park City Mountain Resort in the Wasatch Mountains, right in the heart of the fabled Rockies of Utah, the US state whose car registration plates bear the legend “Greatest Snow on Earth”. Blessed with a natural talent and a highly competitive streak, the young Ligety loved racing and quickly earned a place at the resort’s Winter Sports School, which strives for both educational and sporting excellence. Graduating from the School in 2002, he is now one of its ambassadors.
Olympic glory in TurinRecognised for his skiing skills, and particularly his spectacular gift for cutting turns, Ligety starred on the USA junior team, and then in November 2003, when he was just 19, took part in his first World Cup event, a giant slalom, at his home resort in Salt Lake City, which had not long since hosted the 2002 Winter Games. It was not long before Ligety was competing in giant slalom, slalom and the combined, gradually working his way to the top of his sport. The first major success of his career came in Sestriere (ITA) on 14 February 2006 when he won Olympic gold in the combined. Trailing in 32nd place after the downhill, he turned in two breathtaking slalom runs to top the podium, ahead of Croatia’s Ivica Kostelic and Austria’s Rainer Schoenfelder.
The king of the giant slalomUltimately, it was in GS that the American skier was best able to express his prodigious ability. His maiden World Cup win in the discipline came in Yongpyong (KOR) on 5 March 2006, the start of an extended period of domination in which he won the coveted Big Crystal Globe four times (in 2008, 2010, 2011 and 2013), scored a succession of series victories (17 of them through to the end of the 2013 season) and won the world title in 2011 and 2013.
A historic treble in SchladmingAdapting effortlessly to the new regulations on ski lengths and radii introduced by the International Skiing Federation (FIS) for the 2012/13 season, Ligety continued his domination of the giant slalom on the World Cup circuit. In February 2012, he achieved a historic feat at the World Championships in Schladming (AUT), winning the super-G, giant slalom and super-combined to become the first skier to win triple gold at a major championships since Jean-Claude Killy in 1968.