Wednesday, April 23, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

With 3rd gold at worlds, Ligety joins ski legends

SCHLADMING, Austria — Ted Ligety has joined some of skiing’s legends. And in doing so, the American catapulted himself into the sport’s biggest spotlight heading into next year’s Sochi Olympics.

By winning Friday’s giant slalom by a massive margin, Ligety became the first man in 45 years to win three gold medals at a skiing world championships — since French great Jean-Claude Killy took home four golds in 1968.

“I still don’t think I recognize what I’ve done this week,” Ligety said. “It’s just been so phenomenal to win three gold medals, especially in two events that I hadn’t won in before.”

Ligety opened the championships last week by winning the super-G, then followed that up with gold in the super-combined Monday — both events he had never won on the World Cup circuit.

“That kind of added some pressure and expectations for today, because the giant slalom is really what I came here for and really wanted,” said Ligety, who won four of the five World Cup GS races this season. “It’s just been super, super surreal.”

Killy’s feat came on home snow in Grenoble in a year when the Winter Olympics doubled as the world championships. He swept gold in all three Olympic events — giant slalom, slalom and downhill — and was awarded another worlds gold for combined.

The only other three men to accomplish the feat were Emile Allais, the first great French skier, who won three events at the 1937 worlds in Chamonix, France; Norwegian pioneer Stein Eriksen, who took home three golds from the 1954 worlds in Are, Sweden; and Toni Sailer, one of the first great Austrian skiers who won four golds at the 1956 Olympics in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy, which also doubled as worlds, and three at the 1958 worlds in Bad Gastein, Austria.

“To be among those names, to have three gold medals at world championships, is a really cool feeling,” Ligety said. “It’s not something I set out to accomplish.”

Ligety also probably didn’t intend to put himself in position as “the next big thing” heading into Sochi. But with Lindsey Vonn having had a season-ending crash in her opening event here and Bode Miller taking this season off to recover from left knee surgery, Ligety will almost surely be thrust into the role that Miller had for the 2006 Turin Games and that Vonn dealt with for the 2010 Vancouver Games.

“I guess we’ll see,” Ligety said. “I don’t know what it’s going to be like. I know they both had a lot of external pressures and a lot of different things they (had) to go through for being the favorite and we’ll see how that goes.

“This definitely sets the bar high,” Ligety added. “I don’t know if this is repeatable. Hopefully I can just maintain the same level of skiing and give myself good chances there.”

This was a pretty decent dress rehearsal.

Before 35,000 fans, Ligety established a 1.31-second lead in the opening run and overcame a slight bobble in the second leg to finish 0.81 ahead of Austrian rival Marcel Hirscher — the only man to beat Ligety in a GS this season — and 1.75 in front of Manfred Moelgg, who finally gave Italy’s talented GS squad its first medal since Alberto Tomba in 1996.

While the numbers were impressive, what his fellow skiers marveled at was Ligety’s form — how he leaned down at near-impossible angles for each turn, dragging his hips and hands across the snow as the edges of his skis carved stayed on perfect line.

Italian GS veteran Davide Simoncelli, who finished sixth, simply couldn’t match Ligety’s flexibility.

“He leans down much further than we do and therefore the ski goes much faster, because it goes tighter around the turn,” Simoncelli said. “I’m trying everything I can but I’m not able to imitate him.

“It’s like asking the guy who finishes second in the 100-meter dash, ‘How do you catch (Usain) Bolt?’” Simoncelli added.

While most of the 35,000 fans who flooded into this small Alpine village were hoping to see Hirscher win, Ligety also had supporters.

One fan banner at the race read, “Ted Ligety: You are the one and only.” Another said, “Ted Ligety: I love you,” with a heart in the place of love. And little girls had “Ted” painted onto their cheeks.

“He’s flying, not skiing. He goes from one victory to another,” Austrian Alpine director Hans Pum said. “He got his first super-G win in the first race and then he just carried on. He’s doing what he wants to.”

Ligety’s victories, plus a super-G bronze from Julia Mancuso, put the U.S. Ski Team atop the medals table after nine of 11 events. Only the two slaloms remain, and American teenager Mikaela Shiffrin is among the favorites for the women’s race Saturday.

Host Austria has the most medals overall, five, but is still seeking its first individual victory, having won only the team event.

“There’s nothing to say. It’s life, it’s sport. It’s like Barcelona,” Pum said, referring to the Spanish football team. “The best team doesn’t always win. This is sport. It’s important for sport.”

Hirscher, whose every move at these championships has been documented in this ski-crazy nation, also paid tribute to Ligety.

“He’s definitely the world champion, the triple champion,” Hirscher said. “I take my hat off to you.”

But Ligety wasn’t celebrating yet. He closes the championships with Sunday’s slalom, an event he hasn’t reached the podium in for five years.

“I don’t think I’m necessarily a medal challenger but I’ve been fast in the slalom in the past and maybe this wave of confidence can carry me through to a medal,” Ligety said. “I know that’s definitely a reach but I’ll wait for the party until after Sunday.”

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

LEAVE A COMMENT

Discussion | No comments

The Daily Republic does not necessarily condone the comments here, nor does it review every post. Read our full policy

.

Solano News

 
Delta barriers no longer needed

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A1

 
Supervisors voice concern on state Delta plans

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A1 | Gallery

 
Dental clinic coming Friday, Saturday

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A3, 5 Comments

 
Rotarians talk about running clinic to help Haitians

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A3 | Gallery

 
Fairfield-Suisun Sewer District eyes new auditor

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A4

 
County honors Purple Heart recipients

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A6

 
Solano recognizes 1,300-strong volunteer corps

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A6

 
Garamendi to host open house at Fairfield office

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A7

 
Highway 12 night work scheduled in Delta

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A7

 
Kids fishing derby in Fairfield is part of Earth Day

By Ryan McCarthy | From Page: A7

 
County approves Icon agreements

By Barry Eberling | From Page: B9

Ceremony set to break ground for Suisun City Walmart

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: B9, 19 Comments | Gallery

 
Dutch Bros. opening with free drinks

By Barry Eberling | From Page: B9, 8 Comments

 
Museum readies to host Sallie Fox Day in Vacaville

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A10, 1 Comment

Golf tournament to raise funds for children

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A10, 1 Comment

 
Mustangs and More event moved back to October

By Ian Thompson | From Page: A10

Rotary club to host clay shooting derby

By Susan Winlow | From Page: A11

 
Ghost Walk returns to Suisun City

By Amy Maginnis-Honey | From Page: A11

Penalty decision looms in Winters homicide case

By Lauren Keene | From Page: A11

 
NAMI talk on reducing mental health stigma

By Barry Eberling | From Page: A11

 
.

US / World

In Internet TV case, justices show concern

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

 
Michigan affirmative ban is OK, Supreme Court says

By The Associated Press | From Page: A1

GOP candidate releases education policy overview

By The Associated Press | From Page: A12

 
‘Piles and piles’ of bodies in S. Sudan slaughter

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

FedEx sued over deadly California bus crash

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14, 1 Comment

 
Obama views mudslide scene, mourns with survivors

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

Analysis: Putin likely to ignore West on Ukraine

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

 
Biden: Russia must ‘stop talking and start acting’

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

Most Sherpas decide to leave Everest for season

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

 
Grieving borrowers told to repay student loan

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

Jet stowaway at hospital; security issues linger

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

 
SKorea ferry toll hits 146 as search gets tougher

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

Ukraine orders new ‘anti-terror’ operation

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

 
In Ukraine’s east, mayor held hostage by insurgent

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

Acts of bravery emerge from pilloried ship crew

By The Associated Press | From Page: A14

 
IRS awards bonuses to 1,100 who owe back taxes

By The Associated Press | From Page: A15, 4 Comments

.

Opinion

 
Editorial cartoons for April 23, 2014

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A13

 

Groundwater becomes next big California fight

By Thomas Elias | From Page: A13

 
Fairfield’s main problem is the mayor

By Letter to the Editor | From Page: A13, 6 Comments

.

Living

Solving and resolving life’s problems

By Barton Goldsmith | From Page: A2

 
Today in History for April 23, 2014

By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

Community Calendar: April 23, 2014

By Susan Hiland | From Page: A2

 
 
A healthy take on the very not healthy Scotch egg

By The Associated Press | From Page: B6

Horoscopes for April 23, 2014

By Holiday Mathis | From Page: B7

 
How can I get my 12-year-old grandson to sleep in his own bed?

By Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar | From Page: B7

.

Entertainment

DeGeneres making design series for HGTV

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
Discovery to chronicle Everest avalanche

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

Bieber seeks delay in Fla. DUI trial

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9

 
Bon Jovi helps open low-income housing in Philly

By The Associated Press | From Page: A9, 1 Comment

TVGrid

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: A11

 
.

Sports

5 Fairfield runners finish Boston Marathon

By Daily Republic staff | From Page: B1

 
Sharks beat Kings 4-3 in OT, take 3-0 series lead

By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Prep swimming update: Postseason looms on horizon

By Paul Farmer | From Page: B1 | Gallery

 
SCC softball ends regular season with 29 straight wins

By Brian Arnold | From Page: B1 | Gallery

Warriors’ Curry eager to erase Game 2 nightmare

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Spurs’ Popovich wins NBA Coach of the Year

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

Raiders begin offseason workouts

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
David Moyes out as Manchester United manager

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Seahawks acquire QB Terrelle Pryor

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
NFL playoff game to air on ESPN for 1st time

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

MLB suspends 4 after Brewers-Pirates brawl

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Djokovic: Wrist better, will try to play in Madrid

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Armstrong coach Bruyneel banned for 10 years

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Pujols’ 500th HR helps Angels beat Nationals 7-2

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Rangers rally for two runs in ninth to beat A’s

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2 | Gallery

 
Beverly Hanson, forgotten pioneer in women’s golf

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Tech boom presents new wrinkles for Wrigley Field

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
Warriors announce new plans for SF arena

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

Kentucky freshman Julius Randle to enter NBA draft

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

 
AP Source: N.Y. Giants’ Hill facing 3rd suspension

By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

NBA Playoffs: Raptors even series with Nets

By The Associated Press | From Page: B3 | Gallery

 
.

Business

Novartis reshapes business with GSK, Lilly deals

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

 
McDonald’s 1Q profit slips as US sales decline

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

AT&T had strong 1Q on wireless installment plans

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

 
Valeant, Ackman make $45.6B Allergan bid

By The Associated Press | From Page: B9

.

Obituaries

Richard P. Horn

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

 
Kyong Hee Maxwell

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4

Norma O’Regan

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 1 Comment

 
Anne Irene Elizabeth Fulgoni

By Nancy Green | From Page: A4, 3 Comments

.

Comics

B.C.

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Garfield

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Zits

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Peanuts

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Wizard Of Id

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Baldo

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

For Better or Worse

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Dilbert

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Get Fuzzy

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Pickles

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Blondie

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Beetle Bailey

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Baby Blues

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Sally Forth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Rose is Rose

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

 
Frank and Ernest

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B6

Crossword

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Word Sleuth

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Bridge

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

 
Sudoku

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7

Cryptoquote

By Daily Republic Syndicated Content | From Page: B7