The last time Ted Ligety stood on a World Cup podium was Dec. 5, 2015. Austrian Marcel Hirscher took his first super-G win that snowy day at Beaver Creek and Andrew Weibrecht of the U.S. claimed third. In the more than two years since then, Ligety has been plagued by various injuries including tearing his ACL in January 2016 and then undergoing back surgery just a year later. The American came back to racing at various points between the pain, but never skied to his full potential.

Now, it seems the two-time Olympic gold medalist has found his flow in giant slalom just in time for his fourth Winter Olympic Games. In the final GS before heading to PyeongChang, Ligety ascended to a third-place finish at Garmisch-Partenkirchen, Germany.

Advertisement

“Happy to be on the podium,” Ligety said. “It’s definitely nice to finally make that step here when it’s been a tough couple years injury wise.”

Manuel Feller, Marcel Hirscher and Ted Ligety celebrate after the GS race. // Image Credit: GEPA / Thomas Bachun

While he made some mistakes in the second run that ultimately pushed him from second to third place, the American was happy with his skiing.

“This hill is always a tough hill,” he continued. “It’s not really a place you can lace two really good turns together unless you’re Marcel, of course. First run, I was actually surprised to be as fast as I was and second run, I think I skied better actually second run, just a little bit more mistakes.”

Teammates Marcel Hirscher and Manuel Feller of Austria went 1-2. For Hirscher, it marked his 55th career win, making him the second-most successful male World Cup skier behind Ingemar Stenmark with 86 wins. He won with a combined time of 2:40.18.

“I’m really surprised that things are going so well after my injury,” Hirscher said. “Fortunately, a win never becomes routine.”

Winning the giant slalom before the Games is often a good indicator of gold medal potential–unless you’re Hirscher. In the last 20 years, he is the only man to not claim the Olympic giant slalom title after winning the last World Cup in the discipline ahead of the Games. He finished fourth at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games after winning the World Cup in Kranjska Gora. That said, Hirscher was not nearly as dominant at that point in his career. The win in Slovenia was only his second of the 2009-10 season as compared to this season where Hirscher has won seven of the last eight GS races.

“Back in Vancouver, Marcel wasn’t the Marcel he is right now,” Ligety said. “So it’s a totally different story. Right now, it’s really, really difficult to beat Marcel. He beats himself. That’s the fact of the matter right now, so you have to ski as fast as you can and hope that’s good enough.”

For Feller, it was his first appearance in the top three. Being 1.57 seconds off the winning pace was enough to snag the second spot on the podium. The Austrian has been close before, but his wild style has made it tough for him to put two fast runs together.

“I’ve done some very good races in the giant slalom, but unfortunately it was never enough for the podium,” Feller said. “Today it finally fit.”

Aside from Ligety, the Americans were represented by Tim Jitloff and Tommy Ford in the second run. The took 20th and 27th, respectively. Ryan Cochran-Siegle, Hig Roberts and David Chodounsky did not qualify for a second run.

The final men’s race before the Games is the Stockholm City Event on Jan. 30. Olympic action kicks off on Feb. 11 with the men’s downhill.


Top 10

  1. Marcel Hirscher (AUT) – Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
  2. Manuel Feller (AUT) – Atomic/Atomic/Atomic
  3. Ted Ligety (USA) – Head / Head / Head
  4. Henrik Kristoffersen (NOR) – Rossignol / Look / Rossignol
  5. Matts Olsson (SWE) – Head / Head / Head
  6. Aleksander Aamodt Kilde (NOR) – Head / Head / Head
  7. Florian Eisath (ITA) – Blizzard / Tecnica / Marker
  8. Mathieu Faivre (FRA) – Head / Head / Head
  9. Alexis Pinturault (FRA) – Head / Head / Head
  10. Loic Meillard (SUI) – Rossignol / Look / Rossignol

Official Results

RankBibFIS CodeNameYearNationRun 1Run 2Total TimeDiff.FIS PointsWC Points
 1 3 53831HIRSCHER Marcel1989AUT 1:18.64 1:21.54 2:40.18 0.00 100
 2 11 54063FELLER Manuel1992AUT 1:19.62 1:22.13 2:41.75 +1.57 9.61 80
 3 13 534562LIGETY Ted1984USA 1:19.27 1:22.60 2:41.87 +1.69 10.34 60
 4 4 422304KRISTOFFERSEN Henrik1994NOR 1:19.99 1:22.02 2:42.01 +1.83 11.20 50
 5 6 501324OLSSON Matts1988SWE 1:20.03 1:22.12 2:42.15 +1.97 12.05 45
 6 16 422139KILDE Aleksander Aamodt1992NOR 1:19.82 1:22.49 2:42.31 +2.13 13.03 40
 7 12 292967EISATH Florian1984ITA 1:19.82 1:22.56 2:42.38 +2.20 13.46 36
 8 2 194495FAIVRE Mathieu1992FRA 1:20.49 1:21.99 2:42.48 +2.30 14.07 32
 9 5 194364PINTURAULT Alexis1991FRA 1:19.58 1:22.92 2:42.50 +2.32 14.19 29
 10 19 512182MEILLARD Loic1996SUI 1:19.65 1:23.08 2:42.73 +2.55 15.60 26
 11 10 292491MOELGG Manfred1982ITA 1:20.27 1:22.65 2:42.92 +2.74 16.76 24
 12 9 193967MUFFAT-JEANDET Victor1989FRA 1:20.72 1:22.27 2:42.99 +2.81 17.19 22
 13 7 511896MURISIER Justin1992SUI 1:20.02 1:23.01 2:43.03 +2.85 17.44 20
 14 36 990048BORSOTTI Giovanni1990ITA 1:21.12 1:21.99 2:43.11 +2.93 17.93 18
 15 27 202462DOPFER Fritz1987GER 1:20.98 1:22.20 2:43.18 +3.00 18.35 16
 16 8 191750FANARA Thomas1981FRA 1:20.80 1:22.39 2:43.19 +3.01 18.42 15
 17 47 194935FAVROT Thibaut1994FRA 1:21.13 1:22.08 2:43.21 +3.03 18.54 14
 18 14 561244KRANJEC Zan1992SLO 1:20.10 1:23.28 2:43.38 +3.20 19.58 13
 19 21 380335ZUBCIC Filip1993CRO 1:20.83 1:22.58 2:43.41 +3.23 19.76 12
 20 55 202451STRASSER Linus1992GER 1:21.52 1:21.97 2:43.49 +3.31 20.25 11
 20 31 534959JITLOFF Tim1985USA 1:21.14 1:22.35 2:43.49 +3.31 20.25 11
 22 25 202597SCHMID Alexander1994GER 1:20.57 1:22.96 2:43.53 +3.35 20.50 9
 23 24 511741ZURBRIGGEN Elia1990SUI 1:21.25 1:22.45 2:43.70 +3.52 21.54 8
 24 23 294890NANI Roberto1988ITA 1:21.38 1:22.40 2:43.78 +3.60 22.03 7
 25 18 291318TONETTI Riccardo1989ITA 1:20.87 1:23.24 2:44.11 +3.93 24.04 6
 26 41 700879ZAMPA Andreas1993SVK 1:21.43 1:22.86 2:44.29 +4.11 25.15 5
 27 22 531799FORD Tommy1989USA 1:20.57 1:23.77 2:44.34 +4.16 25.45 4
 28 46 53889HIRSCHBUEHL Christian1990AUT 1:21.52 1:22.88 2:44.40 +4.22 25.82 3
 29 26 103729READ Erik1991CAN 1:20.80 1:23.91 2:44.71 +4.53 27.72 2
 30 33 54093STROLZ Johannes1992AUT 1:21.32 1:23.70 2:45.02 +4.84 29.61 1
 31 1 421669NESTVOLD-HAUGEN Leif Kristian1987NOR 1:19.98 1:32.46 2:52.44 +12.26 75.01 0
Did not qualify for 2nd run
 69 302982OHKOSHI Ryunosuke1988JPN 1:24.18 0
 66 303097ISHII Tomoya1989JPN 1:23.97 0
 65 481730KUZNETSOV Ivan1996RUS 1:22.62 0
 62 54252RASCHNER Dominik1994AUT 1:22.16 0
 57 511857JENAL Sandro1992SUI 1:22.58 0
 56 104531CRAWFORD James1997CAN 1:22.85 0
 54 100558COOK Dustin1989CAN 1:24.37 0
 52 290095BALLERIN Andrea1989ITA 1:22.50 0
 49 422073NETELAND Bjoernar1991NOR 1:21.66 0
 45 6530319COCHRAN-SIEGLE Ryan1992USA 1:21.84 0
 44 103676BROWN Phil1991CAN 1:22.30 0
 43 934566ROBERTS Hig1991USA 1:22.59 0
 42 534508CHODOUNSKY David1984USA 1:21.83 0
 40 422390MONSEN Marcus1995NOR 1:21.79 0
 38 53985MATHIS Marcel1991AUT 1:22.04 0
 37 54104WALCH Magnus1992AUT 1:21.79 0
 32 481327TRIKHICHEV Pavel1992RUS 1:22.08 0
 30 481103ANDRIENKO Aleksander1990RUS 1:21.83 0
 29 103865PHILP Trevor1992CAN 1:22.05 0
 15 990116DE ALIPRANDINI Luca1990ITA 1:22.12 0
Did not finish 1st run
 68 380363KOLEGA Elias1996CRO 0
 67 202765NORYS Frederik1996GER 0
 64 6190329GUILLOT Victor1996FRA 0
 63 422300EIDE Peder Dahlum1994NOR 0
 61 20398VERDU Joan1995AND 0
 60 511638TUMLER Thomas1989SUI 0
 58 150644KRYZL Krystof1986CZE 0
 53 6291374HOFER Alex1994ITA 0
 51 512269ODERMATT Marco1997SUI 0
 50 502015JAKOBSEN Kristoffer1994SWE 0
 48 410365BARWOOD Adam1992NZL 0
 39 410364FEASEY Willis1992NZL 0
 35 700830ZAMPA Adam1990SVK 0
 34 180666TORSTI Samu1991FIN 0
 28 54027BRENNSTEINER Stefan1991AUT 0
 20 501017MYHRER Andre1983SWE 0
 17 511852CAVIEZEL Gino1992SUI 0
Disqualified 1st run
 59 194457GALEOTTI Greg1992FRA 0
Did not start 1st run
 70 54106BREITFUSS KAMMERLANDER Simon1992BOL 0