Ted Ligety Wins Gold Medal In Giant Slalom At Winter Olympics

Alpine skier Ted Ligety has done it for the United States, he has won the gold medal in the Giant Slalom at the Sochi Winter Olympics, becoming the first American Alpine skier to win two Olympics gold medals.

The 29-year-old has won every possible title there is in Alpine skiing — including a surprise gold medal in the Alpine combined in Torino in 2006 — but that elusive gold in the giant slalom — his specialty — hasn’t come, until now.

In 2006, an unknown 21-year-old Ted Ligety failed to finish the first run in the Giant Slalom. At the Vancouver Winter Games in 2010, he finished a disappointing ninth.

In the meantime, the Park City, Utah resident has established himself as the greatest skier in this discipline, winning two World Championship and two World Cup titles.

Ted Ligety wanted the gold, badly.

On Wednesday, Ligety had a huge lead over his fellow competitors and completed his two-run combined down the Rosa Khutor Extreme Park in 2 minutes, 45.29 seconds, giving him an insurmountable lead of 1.5 seconds.

Steve Missillier of France finished second, 0.48 behind, and Alexis Pinturault, also of France, was third, 0.64 behind.

Ted Ligety becomes only the second United States Alpine skier to win two gold medal, a record established by Andrea Mead-Lawrence, who won the slalom and giant slalom gold medals back in 1952.

The Giant Slalom underwent a big change two years ago, when the FIS, the international federation of skiing, ordered a change in equipment to the use of longer, straighter skis.

The new skis are harder to turn than shorter-shaped skis, but this didn’t prevent Ted Ligety — who was very good on the old skis — from figuring out very early on how to make the new skis work with his style.

“I think he’s one of the best GS skiers in history. He’s so much better at it than everybody else (…) He just is so consistent. He makes no errors.” fellow teammate Bode Miller says of the new Olympic gold medalist in the Sochi Winter Olympics, Ted Ligety.

[Image Via Screen Cap]