Winner Ligety hails his best-ever World Cup season
By Graham Dunbar ,APADELBODEN, Switzerland -- Ted Ligety is writing himself deeper into World Cup skiing history in what is fast becoming his career-best season.
January 14, 2013, 12:01 am TWN
Victory on Saturday at the Adelboden giant slalom — one of the oldest and most traditional venues on tour — had the 28-year-old United States racer reflecting on his career achievements and the company he's keeping in the record books.
First, there was satisfaction in taming the snow-covered, Swiss cow pastures where the winner's list since the inaugural week of World Cup racing in 1967 reads like an Alpine who's who.
“It's the only classic GS I haven't won, so it's nice to get it,” said Ligety, whose name is now inscribed beside the likes of Jean-Claude Killy, Ingemar Stenmark, Alberto Tomba and Hermann Maier.
His 15th career World Cup win, all in his best discipline, also tied him with Tomba for career wins in World Cup giant slaloms.
“He was one of my childhood heroes,” Ligety said of the flamboyant Italian great, whose four titles in the season-long GS standings from 1987-95 could be matched by the American this year. “I grew up watching World Cup ski racing and following it. It's cool to be able to have your name part of that history.”
On a personal level, Ligety notched a fourth World Cup win in a season for the first time. The behind-the-scenes story of his third race win, at the storied Italian venue Alta Badia last month, is the subject of a film being broadcast on Sunday on American TV.
Ligety has had a four-win season before, when he followed his 3-for-3 start to the 2010-11 GS campaign with a gold medal at the last world championships in Garmisch, Germany.
Still, Ligety insisted on Saturday: “It would be hard to argue this isn't my best season in GS.”
It certainly will be if he successfully defends his world title next month in Schladming, Austria, the next GS race on the calendar.