2-time Olympic champion Ted Ligety to retire after worlds

2-time Olympic champion Ted Ligety to retire after worlds

Ted Ligety’s younger son lately introduced house a medal he earned at ski faculty and questioned if dad had any of his personal.

The 2-time Olympic champion rummaged round to find his medals. They then proudly paraded round the home with them.

Extra golden moments like that with the household is cause No. 1 why Ligety plans to retire from the World Cup circuit, efficient after the world championships at present occurring in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy. Ligety’s ultimate race would be the big slalom on Feb. 19.

“I really feel actually fortunate to have executed what I’ve executed and be in a spot in my life and my profession the place I’m capable of stroll away on a contented notice,” Ligety stated in an interview with The Related Press. “I’m simply excited for that subsequent step. It’s going to be scary and completely different and all these issues, nevertheless it’s undoubtedly thrilling.”

Recognized for his easy, technical racing, Ligety captured a shock gold medal within the mixed on the 2006 Turin Olympics after which one other gold medal eight years later within the big slalom on the Sochi Video games as the favourite.

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His storied profession additionally consists of 5 wins at world championships, 25 World Cup victories and 5 season-long World Cup big slalom titles. Ligety’s dominance within the big slalom as soon as led Austrian snowboarding nice Marcel Hirscher to pronounce him “Mr. GS.”

Now, “Mr. GS” merely needs to be often called “Dad.”

The 36-year-old Ligety’s retirement plans embody spending extra time along with his spouse, Mia, and youngsters at house in Park Metropolis, Utah. He has a virtually 4-year-old son, Jax, who’s already displaying his expertise in ski faculty, together with twin boys, Alec and Will, who’re 7 months previous.

Ligety’s need to dart off to Europe to race and prepare has dwindled subsequent to the prospects of being house for the milestones of his youngsters.

“It’s been a very cool profession,” Ligety stated. “I’m psyched at what I’ve executed and likewise the relationships alongside the way in which and the buddies I’ve made. I’m simply completely happy to be the place I’m and to have executed what I’ve executed.”

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He made his World Cup debut on Nov. 22, 2003, throughout a large slalom race in Park Metropolis. He didn’t qualify for a second run that day in an occasion gained by Bode Miller.

His final World Cup race was Jan. 9 throughout a large slalom occasion in Adelboden, Switzerland. He didn’t qualify for a second run.

That exact race, although, was an eye-opener for Ligety. Already on the fence about retiring, he watched teammate Tommy Ford crash and get airlifted to the hospital with what turned out to be head, neck, knee and hand accidents. The scary scene put issues into perspective.

“In a flash of a second, you could be in whole management and the following factor you realize you’re tumbling,” Ligety stated. “I perceive these dangers and I’m able to put these dangers apart.”

There was some thought to probably hanging on lengthy sufficient to attempt to make his fifth straight Olympic workforce subsequent 12 months in Beijing. However he doesn’t need to go simply to go.

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“I’m undoubtedly farther away from having the ability to win than I wish to be,” Ligety stated. “I don’t need to do races as a vacationer.”

Ligety’s earned his manner onto a World Cup podium 52 instances — spanning all disciplines. That every one-around versatility has lengthy been a degree of satisfaction for Ligety, who began snowboarding at 2 and racing by 11.

He’s endured fairly a number of setbacks, too. He has returned from frayed cartilage in his hip, a torn ACL, metallic screws that wanted to be inserted into his wrist and surgical procedure to repair herniated disks in his again, to call a number of.

“My physique,” he stated, “is telling me it’s time.”

However know this about his farewell GS race on the worlds: It gained’t be a ceremonial run. He’s going full pace in an try to earn his first podium spot in additional than three years. His final win was in October 2015.

Don’t be stunned to see him among the many front-runners.

Bear in mind: Lindsey Vonn, the all-time winningest feminine World Cup ski racer, closed out her injury-riddled profession with a third-place displaying within the downhill on the 2019 world championships.

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“A podium is unquestionably a far shot, however I nonetheless consider there’s a probability — perhaps as delusional as that may sound,” cracked Ligety, who counts amongst his many highlights profitable thrice on the 2013 world championships in Schladming, Austria. “However I really feel like if I get a few issues in line then I might have one other nice race.”

Along with household time, Ligety will keep busy in retirement by operating his ski-gear firm referred to as “Shred.” He launched the corporate after the 2006 Olympics and plenty of rivals on the tour put on his modern ski goggles, helmets, sun shades, gloves and outerwear.

Ligety nonetheless might drop into a contest each now and again on the World Professional Ski Tour, a singular circuit that includes a format of side-by-side racing at venues nearer to house. He additionally plans to ski fairly a bit at Park Metropolis’s Deer Valley Resort.

“I’ll nonetheless be that individual on the market snowboarding daily — getting on the market on powder days, hitting the groomers with my youngsters,” Ligety stated. “They simply will probably be a barely completely different depth degree.”

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Extra AP snowboarding: https://apnews.com/hub/snowboarding and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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