Ted Ligety Biography

Athlete(1984–)
American skier Ted Ligety won a gold medal in the combined event at the 2006 Winter Olympics and has become renowned as the world's best in the giant slalom.

Synopsis

Born on August 31, 1984, in Salt Lake City, Utah, Ted Ligety was overlooked among the top skiing talents of his generation, until he surprised everyone by winning a gold medal in the combined event at the 2006 Winter Olympics. Ligety later developed a formidable reputation as a giant slalom specialist, but he displayed his all-around abilities by winning three gold medals at the 2013 Alpine World Championships.

Early Life

Pro skier Theodore Sharp "Ted" Ligety was born on August 31, 1984, in Salt Lake City, Utah, and grew up in nearby Park City. He learned to ski at age 2, and enrolled at The Winter Sports School in Park City as an eighth grader to take advantage of its ski program. Despite his efforts, Ligety did not make his local youth ski team the first time he tried out and was bypassed for the U.S. development team as an adolescent. These setbacks forced him to work harder.

Ski Career

After Ligety graduated from high school, his parents agreed to pay for him to spend a year on the U.S. development team to see if a future in the sport was viable. The investment proved worthwhile, as Ligety won a silver medal in the slalom at the 2004 Junior World Championships and placed 23rd in a World Cup slalom race to earn a spot on the 2005 U.S. Ski Team.

Ligety had accumulated three Top 3 finishes in World Cup competition heading into the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy, but he pulled off one of the Games' biggest surprises by winning the gold medal in the combined. Shortly after the Olympics ended, he proved his championship genuine by earning his first World Cup gold medal in the giant slalom at Yongpyong, South Korea.

Ligety eventually became the best in the world in the giant slalom, topping the year-end rankings in the discipline four times from 2008-13. In 2013 alone, he won an incredible six of eight giant slalom events.

During the 2013 Alpine World Championships in Schladming, Austria, Ligety turned in the fastest times in the giant slalom, super-combined and super G to become the first man since Jean-Claude Killy in 1968 to win three gold medals at a single World Championships. After finishing the season ranked a career-high third in the overall World Cup rankings, he was named the United States Olympic Committee's 2012-13 Olympic SportsMan of the Year.

Ligety kicked off the subsequent World Cup season with his 18th career victory in the giant slalom, setting the tone for success with the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, on the horizon.

Business and Personal Life

Following the 2006 Olympics, Ligety founded a ski apparel company named SHRED Optics. He holds an annual ski camp at Mount Hood in Oregon, and counts tennis, car racing and water skiing among his other favorite outdoor activities.

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