Hometown: Park City, UT
Birthplace: Salt Lake City, UT
Club: Park City Ski Team
Current Residence: Park City, UT
Ligety was on skis at two and began racing at 11, working his way from the Park City farm team on up to the Park City Ski Team. Although he played other sports as he went into high school, he says, “Skiing really was my only passion.” U.S. coaches watched and waited as he worked up through the junior ranks, and when he collected slalom silver at the 2004 Junior World Championships, and then 23rd in a World Cup slalom, he clinched a place on the ’05 U.S. Ski Team.
Skiing always comes first for 2006 Olympic gold medalist and four-time World Cup giant slalom champion Ted Ligety. Whether it's dropping cliffs, taking the snowmobiles into the Utah backcountry or laying down some of the most incredible angles in all of ski racing, "Shred" is constantly pushing and evolving the sport.
Describing 2013 as a "breakout" season for Ligety is a drastic understatement. Ligety set the tone from the very first race with a historic 2.75 second giant slalom victory in Soelden. The tone then turned to full on rock concert volume as Ligety won all but two GS races (most by monster margins) for the fourth Audi FIS Alpine World Cup giant slalom title of his career. The six GS wins also put him in some pretty elite company as the only other man do win that many in a single season is Ingemar Stenmark. The victory parade, paired with incredible success in super G and a decent slalom season put him over the 1,000 point barrier for the first time in his career for third in the overall standings.
But that was just World Cup. At the World Championships, Shred nailed super G gold, super combined gold and defended his GS gold. The hat trick made him the first man since Jean Claude Killy did it 45 years ago at the 1968 World Championships.
A better description of Ligety's 2013 season might be that he went from being one of the best skiers in the world to a legend of the sport.
It’s so ridiculous; it has been such an amazing year. I never would have expected it and in a way it’s kind of a bummer as I will never be able to do that again. A really cool season and to finish it up with a victory… I couldn’t be more pleased.
It’s so tough to choose between the GS globe and my three gold medals, they are all so awesome and they all mean so much. But the globe I think is really cool as you have to be good all year while for the World Championships you could get lucky here and there. Anyhow it’s an awesome feeling to have the season I just had!
For me, my World Championships is the highlight of my year because those two weeks there was the best performance in skiing that I’ve had in my career. To do that over that period of time was really great. Being on the podium every race in giant slalom and winning six of eight is a really cool feeling.
Those records aren’t really my goal. It’s really neat to be able to achieve them. Anytime you’re mentioned in the same sentence as Stenmark is very surreal for any ski racer because he’s at another level that I don’t think is ever achievable. So to be at least mentioned in the same breath as him is a really cool feeling and something that I never would have guessed would be possible.
Yeah, it’s cool to be able to get third place in the overall. It’s a big step forward in the right direction for trying to go for the big globe. It’s nice to be among those names for next year and hopefully I can improve in other areas of my skiing.
OFF THE SNOW
Ligety is the mastermind behind Shred, a company he started with friend Carlo Salmini following the 2006 Olympics. Originally started with goggles, Shred now makes helmets, sunglasses, gloves and outerwear, but more importantly pushes the style envelop with ski racing. Aside from the biz, Ligety digs tennis, formula one racing, water skiing, ripping around the Utah backcountry and playing badminton in his backyard court.
Olympics (top 20)
Teams: 2006, 2010
Gold, Combined, Torino, ITA, 2006
5th, SC, Vancouver, CAN, 2010
9th, GS, Vancouver, CAN, 2010
19th, SG, Vancouver, CAN, 2010
World Championships (medals)
Teams: 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013
Gold, GS, Schladming, AUT, 2013
Gold, SG, Schladming, AUT, 2013
Gold, SC, Schladming, AUT, 2013
Gold, GS, Garmisch-Partenkirchen, GER, 2011
Bronze, GS, Val d'Isere, FRA, 2009
Four-time GS champion (2008, 2010, 2011, 2013)
Won historic six of eight GS races, 2013
Third in overall standings, 2013
Top three in GS every season since 2008
First victory (GS, Yong Pyong, KOR, 2006)
First podium (3rd, SL, Beaver Creek, CO, 2005)
U.S. CHAMPIONSHIPS TITLES (7)
2013, SL, Squaw Valley, CA
2007, GS, Alyeska, AK
2007, Combined, Alyeska, AK
2006, SL, Sugarloaf, ME
2006, Combined, Sugarloaf, ME
2005, SL, Mammoth Mountain, CA
2005, Combined, Mammoth Mountain, CA
2006 ESPY nominee for Olympic Athlete of the Year
2004 Slalom silver medalist at World Juniors
Years on Team: 10
Years on Olympic Team: 2010, 2006
Years on World: 2005, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2013