Amazing GS season FROM THE DENVER POST DIARY

THE BELOW ARTICLE IS TAKEN FROM MY WEEKLY DIARY WITH THE DENVER POST AND JOHN MEYER ABOUT MY WORLD CUP EXPERIENCE AFTER THE RAINY GS AND SLALOM RACES IN KRANJSKA GORA, SLOVENIA.

Giant slalom for me this season has been incredible, culminating Saturday when I clinched the season title with a week left in the season. It’s my fourth World Cup season title in GS, but it was definitely the best season of my career in GS. I won races by huge margins.

The rule changes reducing the legal amount of sidecut on our skis were an advantage for me, and that was a big reason I was so outspoken in criticizing them before they took effect. A rule change that determines winners and losers is a bad rule change. That was a big part of my opposition, in addition to my conviction that the FIS was wrong in its contention that reduced sidecuts would make the sport safer.

To have the season I had on the new skis, after I was such a vocal critic, was very important to me. I didn’t want it to seem like I was being critical because I thought it was going to threaten my stature in giant slalom. I was outspoken because the rule change lacked virtue. I worked hard on the new skis from the time the rule changes became official so I would have a head start over the other guys in adjusting to the new equipment.

I think the new skis worked better with my technique than with most of the other guys because I start the turn earlier and finish the turn later. I have a swooping, longer arc than Marcel Hirscher of Austria, who will finish second in the GS standings. Hirscher kind of chops off a little of the top of the turn and gets a lot of rebound (and acceleration) out of the ski. That was really easy to do on the old skis; you could really accelerate out of a turn. On the new skis, you don’t get as much acceleration.

I also lay the ski over on edge a little farther, which helps me arc on the reduced turn radius more cleanly.

I suspected that early in the process, after I skied on them for the first time, and also because I understood the scientific difference between a ski with a 35-meter turn radius (the new rule) and one with a 27-meter radius (the old rule). In order to pull a turn with the same radius, you need to have a higher edge angle. You can pull the same radius on a 35-meter ski versus a 27-meter radius ski if you have like 7 degrees more edge angle. My style lends itself to having a higher edge angle, and that gives me an advantage on the new skis.


Part of the team that helped me get there….

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Off The Slopes: Rookie Hair Cut

The rookie haircut tradition started on the team about 4 years ago, as a fun way to both initiate and include the young rookie into the team. The haircut honors go to the last guy to score his first world cup points, so majority of the time it is a recent rookie. It is also an incentive for the rookie because if they get top 15 they get to cut my hair, so at some point in my career I’m sure I will be sporting a horrible haircut and you’ll know why. Audi Off the Slopes put this video together of our last rookie cut in Garmisch.

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Russia to Norway in 5 days

As you may already know last week I had the opportunity to train in Sochi on the Olympic course. I couldn’t pass it up, but it meant I had a hectic traveling schedule in order to squeeze in training in Sochi between the Garmisch, Germany GS Sunday and the Kvitfjell, Norway SuperG the following Sunday. I got some cool photos while in Sochi and wanted to share. They have made a lot of progress since I was there last year for the World Cup, but I was amazed at how much more work they have to do to get ready.


Security check to get on the Gondola


I got to free ski on the Olympic Downhill course, behind me is the Olympic village


This photo was taken from the top Gondola looking down on the bottom where all the courses converge and then separate again to the finish area


Sunrise on the top of the mountain


Military at the top of the mountain


Looking down on Krasnaya Polyana; the main town for mountain events

Kvjetfill, Norway was a beautiful stop on the World Cup as always, too bad I couldn’t spend more time there. I headed back to Germany for some training before Kranjska Gora GS and Slalom this weekend right after the Super G race.


I watched the DH race on Saturday from mid course….looks like I have a mustache!

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GoPro Video of the GS Olympic Hill in Sochi

I took a video of my GS training runs on the Olympic hill in Sochi, Russia using my Gopro3 this week. One view is from me being followed by Alex down the run and the other is from my POV. This is the same slope that will be used in the 2014 Olympics for the Mens Giant Slalom run and part of the Downhill and Super G. It will be the longest GS on the World Cup, ranging from a 1 min 30 secs to 1 min 40 secs. My legs were burning midway not to even mention the bottom. Enjoy!

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World Championship Diary

BELOW IS TAKEN FROM MY WEEKLY DIARY WITH THE DENVER POST AND JOHN MEYER ABOUT MY WORLD CUP EXPERIENCE ALONG WITH SOME OF MY PERSONAL PHOTOS FROM THE TWO WEEKS IN SCHALDMING.

Hard to Fathom Making History at World Ski Championships

SCHLADMING, Austria — I still can’t really fathom what happened to me at the world championships. I knew I had chances for medals in super-G and super combined, and I really wanted to win the gold medal in the giant slalom. To win three gold medals definitely exceeded my expectations, and it’s been a crazy wave to ride.

It’s really weird thinking that it hadn’t been done since Jean-Claude Killy in 1968. It’s hard to imagine somebody hasn’t done it in 45 years, and it was such a cool feeling to put it together the way I did.

After I won the third gold medal, the legendary Alberto Tomba spent some time with us and he was pretty taken aback, even saying it was something he couldn’t have done. It was cool having one of my childhood heroes talking about how neat my accomplishment was. That was special.

I knew it was possible for me to win medals in all three events. On the World Cup this season, I’ve been skiing so well in super-G, with two fourth-place finishes and a sixth place, and this hill was perfect for me in super-G. I knew it was a really good opportunity.

In combined, if I hadn’t lost a ski three gates from the finish line in Wengen last month, I would have been second there, so I knew I had a chance in combined at worlds. After the combined downhill — one of the best downhill runs I’ve had in a long time, beating a lot of the best downhill skiers in the world — I could ski tactically in the slalom rather than taking a lot of risks.

But going into the giant slalom with two gold medals, I felt a lot of pressure because defending my title from the 2011 world championships was my No. 1 goal. It was stressful because I hadn’t been able to train much GS while focusing on the super-G and combined. Plus Austrian coaches set the course for the first run, and I knew they would really try to mess with me, setting a course that would be disadvantageous for me and advantageous for my main rival in GS, Marcel Hirscher, on his home hill.

To go out and win the first run by more than a second, and then be able to ski smartly on the second run, it was really cool to be in that position.

With the Olympics less than a year away now, I know winning these three gold medals has made my summer far more busy than normal. It will be a really good opportunity to project myself beyond ski racing.

But I’m not doing ski racing to become famous. I do it because I love it and I’m competitive. That’s what drives me. I’m not looking to be on the cover of People magazine. My main focus is on ski racing, not the red carpet.

THE ARTICLE ABOVE WAS PUBLISHED ON MONDAY, BUT I STILL WANTED TO SHARE IT. THE PAST COUPLE DAYS I HAVE BEEN TAKEN SOME TIME OFF TO RECOVER AND RECHARGE AFTER WORLD CHAMPS, NOW I AM READY TO FINISH OFF THE REST OF THE SEASON STRONG.

DENVER POST DIARYS CAN BE FOUND BELOW ALONG WITH THE REST OF MY DIARYS WITH THEM:

http://www.denverpost.com/extremes

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Audi off the slopes video!

I have been capturing some of my adeventures in Europe this season from the Rockfest race, a heli ride to a training session in Switzerland and a bungy swing jump taken with my GoPro3 and sending them to Audi for a project they are doing with several racers called “Off the Slopes” to capture the behind the scenes of the World Cup.

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SUPER G GOLD MEDAL DAY: Schladming World Champs

I still can’t believe I won the Gold medal at World Champs in the Super G yesterday. It was a great day of racing, I started 10th, so I was more nervous watching the rest of the top skiers come down than I was at the start of my run. Celebrating the victory with Aksel and DeTessiere, Alex, the Head team, Audi, my coaches and my girlfriend made for an awesome day that I will never forget. It wouldn’t have been possible to get the gold without the support of all those people.

After the medal ceremony we were rushed across the street to tape a live show for ORF. I thought the studio was really cool.

I celebrated over a couple beers, but had to get up early for the downhill training runs this morning. It’s still early in the World Champs, so I am looking forward to the Super Combined on Monday!

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World Champs Prep in Hinterreit

World Championships start next week in Schladming, where I will race the SuperG, Combined, GS and Slalom. We don’t have a race this weekend, so we have been training, here in Hinterreit, which is pretty neat. It is a farm with a guesthouse 2 T-bars and an injected training slope. Peter, the owner has a passion for ski racing and has turned his farm into a top-level training site. The walls of the guesthouse are plastered with the posters of all the World Cup stars who’ve trained here dating back to the 90’s. We’ve trained here a bunch over the last few years and it’s always sweet.

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WORLD CUP DIARY: DENVER POST: KITZBUEHEL

BELOW IS TAKEN FROM MY DIARY WITH THE DENVER POST AND JOHN MEYER. I THOUGHT I SHOULD POST IT AS IT BEST DESCRIBES WHERE I AM AT DURING THE SEASON NOW AFTER THE KITZBUEHEL WEEKEND.

AL AND I HANGING IN THE RED BULL LOUNGE BEFORE A TRAINING RUN

WITH OVERALL OUT OF REACH, TURNING ATTENTION TO WORLDS

KITZBUEHEL, Austria — I decided to skip Tuesday night’s “City Event” in Moscow because after my results this past weekend — failing to get points out of a combined for the second straight week — the World Cup overall title is pretty much out of reach.
It also makes sense because the world championships begin Tuesday, Feb. 5 in Schladming, Austria, so it’s hard to justify a five-hour flight to Moscow now.

I was psyched to finish sixth in the super-G in Kitzbuehel, my fourth-best super-G result. Even though the downhill there is the most challenging on the tour, the super-G doesn’t favor me because most of the super-G course is a pretty easy glider’s course, so getting a good result was a step in the direction of becoming a more regular contender in super-G.

In the downhill I had a good run going until I missed a gate on the difficult sidehill just above the finish schuss.I was fifth-fastest on the upper sections, the meat and bones of the hardest, most technical section in World Cup downhill. But I got bounced low on that sidehill above the finish and missed the exit gate onto the finish straight. That was disappointing because I was putting together a pretty good downhill run.

That sidehill at Kitzbuehel is pretty legendary. You’re moderately tired, you come off a pretty sizable jump and go right into a hard right-footed turn. If your direction is good, you stay high on the sidehill. If your direction is bad, you end up in the fence.
The sidehill is super, super bumpy. The bumps are almost as big as a moguls course, and you’re going 75 mph or faster. That section takes out a lot of guys, because those bumps make it really hard to stay on a high line. In the 10 seconds you’re on that sidehill, your skis might be on the snow for three seconds.

At the world championships (Feb. 5-17), I feel I have a really good chance at three medals. I’m one of the better guys in super-G, and that super-G hill in Schladming is steep and technical, giving me a very good chance of medaling. I feel like I have a very, very good chance of getting a medal in the combined. And in GS, of course, I’m the defending world champion, and I’ve won four of the five GS races this season.

THE INSERT ABOVE WITH THE DENVER POST CAN BE FOUND HERE ALONG WITH THE REST OF MY DIARYS WITH THEM:

http://www.denverpost.com/sports/ci_22466427/ted-ligety-overall-out-reach-turning-attention-worlds

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Stunning Wengen

view from my hotel room…

Wengen, Switerland, sits nestled into the side of the alps only accessible by train and home to the notorious Lauberhorn Downhill and Slalom race. Personally I think it is the most beautiful stop on the World Cup Tour (as a competitor maybe a bit of a logistical nightmare to say the least). The Wengen ski resort and Downhill run sits below the famous Eiger known around the world as one of the toughest mountains to climb.

I skied in the Super Combined on Friday (combination of times for one downhill run and one slalom run). I came in 13th in the Downhill portion, so I felt good about my chances going into the slalom race, with a decent buffer over the slalom specialists. I skied pretty well in the SL run and was close to even with the eventual winner Alexis Pinturault until 3 gates from the finish when my ski fell off; a freak accident. Bummer. I was happy though for Alexis Pinturault to get the win adding to Shred’s World Cup win count, which is currently the most of any other helmet/goggle company.

I had set myself the goal of; top 10 in the DH portion of the Super Combi to race the DH, but since I fell just short of my self imposed criteria I skipped the DH to rest and to spectate the race live.

Wengen is said to get a crowd of 40,000 lined along the whole course. It is reachable for spectators from a train ride up to the top of the mountain (or helicopter from valley to start) and spectators travel along the course with skis, sleds or by foot. I skied down along the side of the track with the throngs of fans, who were boozing it up and setting up little fondue picnics along the course. As a spectator this would be an awesome sports experience to fully partake in whether you are a ski fan or not.

Another Sunday and another Slalom which is the theme for this time of year. I finished 13th, which interestingly enough is what I started, finished after first run and am in the year’s SL standings. I skied among the fastest for sections but made strings of costly mistakes as is the story of my SL season. Hopefully I can clean that up this weekend in Kitzbuhel. I’m racing the Downhill, Super G, and Slalom.

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