Ted Ligety shakes off
expectations to win
another GS — and
another for the U.S.
BY HANK MCKEE
Coach Sasha Rearick said Ted Ligety skied “tactically smart” at Soelden.
With Lindsey Vonn already in the clubhouse with the first
U.S. win of the season, the pressure could not have been
higher for Ted Ligety, America’s defending giant slalom cham-
pion, to win his first race of the season at Soelden on Oct. 23.
Outside pressure, however, is of virtually no concern to Ligety.
He doesn’t feel it. He puts more on himself, he says, than any
event, person or situation can even begin to muster.
Ligety was as confident as one can ever be before the first
race of the season. He knew he was fast enough last season
to win the title, and he knew he was skiing better than he had
last season. Unless one of the other top seven or so GS skiers
in the world had surpassed him with their summer training, the
race should be his to lose. And, since he had worked hard all
summer, that likelihood seemed pretty remote. Plus, he owned
three podiums from three of his four races at Soelden. That
fourth race — coming as a 21-year-old back in 2005 — had
been his breakthrough race, when he had started 64th and
wound up eighth.
Soelden is a tricky race hill. The women say it is the toughest
GS they ski all season. With Alta Badia and Adelboden on their
schedule, the men might have a different ranking, but Soelden
SkiRacing.com OC TOBER 31, 2011 | 26