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American Ted Ligety Continues Successful World Cup Season Hot

ted_leityThe 2011 Alpine Ski World Championships were largely unsuccessful for the United States, save for its unheralded star Ted Ligety, who continues to shine on the circuit this season.

Ligety took Gold in the Giant Slalom at Garmsich-Partenkirchen – the only first place finish for the United States at this year’s edition of the World Championships. The only other American medalists were Lindsey Vonn and Julia Mancuso in the Downhill and Super-G races, respectively.

Ligety’s time of 2 minutes 10.56 seconds was .08 better than France’s Cyprien Richard. The Gold was Ligety’s first-ever at the World Championships and his third in the Giant Slalom during this World Cup season.

The Salt Lake City native’s other three wins on the FIS World Cup Tour came at Beaver Creek, Val-d’Isere and Alta Badia earlier in the season.

This year’s exploits can be considered a bounce-back for Ligety who podiumed just twice in 2010 and endured a frightful Olympic campaign in Vancouver.

"The Olympics were pretty disappointing and I think that gave me a big motivation for this summer," Ligety told the Associated Press. "I was really physically fit compared to other years."

In many ways, “Ted Shred”, as he is known, has long served as the ‘other guy’ to Bode Miller in the media, but his credentials speak for themselves.

Ligety is a two-time winner of the Giant Slalom World Cup Overall Championship in 2008 and 2010 and earned Bronze in the event at the 2009 World Championships. He is also a six-time U.S. National Champion along with 21 podium appearances on the World Cup Tour throughout his career.

Prior to this year’s World Championship Gold, Ligety’s crowning achievement came at the 2006 Torino Games where he took Olympic Gold in the Combined. Interestingly, Ligety considers this most recent victory at the World Championships more meaningful than the Olympic title.

"It's a lot tougher coming into a race or a championship knowing you're the big favorite," Ligety said. "Ski racing isn't always a guarantee like some sports, and it makes it that much more difficult. So to win being the favorite is pretty gratifying."

When Ligety arrived at the 2006 Olympics he was largely unknown, having the advantage of skiing freely away from the spotlight. In Garmisch, the burden of victory was placed squarely upon his shoulders – providing great relief and jubilation in triumph.

With just two tour stops remaining, Ligety stands first in the World Cup Giant Slalom standings – just 26 points ahead of Norway’s Askel Lund Svindal. Ligety also sits in ninth place in the overall tour rankings.

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