Park City native Ted Ligety places first in Soelden

Olympic Gold Medalist Ted Ligety, a Park City native, took home the gold on Sunday Oct. 28, 2012 during the first Audi FIS Alpine World Cup race of the 2012-2013 season. He won the giant slalom race in Soelden, Austria with a time of 2 minutes 36.02 seconds, 2.75 seconds faster than Manfred Moelgg of Italy, who placed second. This marked the largest lead between first and second place in a World Cup giant slalom race since 1979 and the seventh-largest winning margin in World Cup GS history.

The race was plagued by both fog and snowy conditions, but Ligety took risks on the course and it paid off. “In hindsight, it may not have been the smartest approach, because it would have been pretty easy to go out right there,” Ligety told the Park Record.

This race was the first GS race under new equipment rules that require racers to race on longer, narrower skis. The regulations were controversially put in place by the FIS to make ski racing a safer sport, and see fewer athlete injuries. These new skis are designed to slow the racer down, taking some of the risk out of the high-speed sport.

The next World Cup race will take place in Levi, Finland on November 11, 2012.

Photo courtesy of Ted Ligety’s Facebook Fan Page