Ted Ligety of Park City, UT won his third gold medal at the FIS Alpine Ski World Championships in Schladming, Austria, besting hometown favorite Marcel Hirscher's Giant Slalom two run time by .81 seconds.
To win an Alpine ski race in Austria - in front of 30,000 - 40,000 screaming fans is a feat - and to do it in an FIS World Ski Championship is an added challenge. For Ted to win two golds in the Mecca of alpine ski racing at the World Series of alpine racing is phenomenal. To do it three times is ▄ber - human.
From the research vault of the U.S. Ski Team here's how phenomenal Ligety's three golds really are:
- Ted Shred is the fifth man in history to win three or more gold medals at one world championships and the first to do it in 45 years, since Jean-Claude Killy (FRA) won four in 1968.
- The four men who have won three or more gold medals at a world championships are: Toni Sailer (AUT, 4 - 1956 and 3 - 1958), Killy (4, 1968), Emile Allais (FRA, 3 - 1937) and Stein Eriksen (NOR, 3 - 1954).
- Ligety is the first non-European man to achieve this feat.
- Ligety is the first skier in world championships history, in either gender, to win the Super G, the giant slalom and the (super) combined at one world championships.
- Ligety's SG and SC wins at Schladming 2013 have come in disciplines in which he has never won on the World Cup tour. All 15 of his World Cup wins have come in giant slalom.
- Ligety is the seventh man to win the giant slalom at two world championships and the first since Michael von Gr├╝nigen (SUI) in 2001.
- Ligety is the sixth man to win the giant slalom at two consecutive world championships and the first since Rudolf Nierlich (AUT) in 1989-91.
- Ligety has won four of the five giant slalom races on the World Cup tour this season and has been on the podium in all five races.
- Ligety is the first USA skier, in either gender, to win the giant slalom gold medal twice at the world championships.
- Ligety is the first American skier, in either gender, to win three gold medals at one world championships.
- Ligety fourth career individual world championship gold ties Bode Miller's USA record.
- Ligety equals the USA record held by Miller, Vonn and Julia Mancuso with five World Championships medals.
When it's all said and done Austria ski racing fans appreciate excellence and Ted is a hero over there almost as much as here - just hope they don't make Ligety king of Austria - we need him here on a team that proves it's the 'Best In The World."
Ted Ligety Skis to Third Goldáin Worlds GS Copyright Mitchell Gunn/ESPA