Ted Ligety is fast, nicknamed Ligety-split, he's won Olympic Gold in the combined, won 4 GS World Championships, and 18 GS World Cup globes, Ted's the most Gold winning man in ski racing at one world championship since Jean Claude Killy in 1968. You could call him our great white GS hope for Sochi. Just last week, the U.S. Olympic Committee named Ted Ligety Olympic Sports Man of the Year.
I got ten minutes with Ted before he won this season's first World Cup GS in Solden, Austria, on October 27. Theodore Sharpe Ligety, Ted for short, said he's feeling fast and strong, after summer training with the U.S. Ski Team in Chile and New Zealand.
Ted's big ski goals?
"My goal is to win the GS in Sochi, that's my best event. That would be a successful Olympics for me."
Excited for Sochi?
"Very. The Olympics are exciting, Russia will be interesting, and NBC is doing more behind the scenes features that should bring more attention to skiing. I think it's awesome that slope style and half pipe will be in this Olympics. I have a ton of respect for those skiers and what they do in the parks and competitions."
If not a pro skier, then what Ted?
"It's tough to say where I'd be if not ski racing. This was my dream. I started skiing at two, racing at 10 and won my first gold medal at 19, and that's all I wanted to pursue. Perhaps engineering, but I love ski racing, I love competing."
What's a no-snow day like for Ligety?
"I typically do about 3 hours of power work in the gym, lots of lifting, then I like to go for a mountain bike ride for a few hours. There are great trails right outside my place in Park City. I don't do anything too crazy because I need to avoid injury, but I love mountain biking."
Fears and jeers?
"Ski racing is a dangerous sport. I have been pretty lucky as far as injuries are concerned. We are out there in skin tight Lycra suits, it gets cold. When I start to feel sick, like I am getting a cold, I use Vicks Nyquil."
Where does Ted like to Shred:
"Park City Mountain Resort, but I am very Utah biased, I grew up here, this is my home. In the East, I like skiing Cochran's, that little ski resort has tons of enthusiasm and has produced so many competitive ski racers, a lot per vertical foot."
Favorite skiing in Europe?
"There are so many great ski resorts in Europe, but Solden is one of the best, it is our U.S. Ski Team home base and the starting point for the World Cup tour (where Ted just won for the GS World Cup again). I like Val D'Isere a well, there is a ton of crazy terrain and a great town with amazing food."
Ted's sweet tooth?
"I have a bit of a sweet tooth, I love ice cream. The ski team has a nutritionist and a cook so we eat pretty healthy on tour, they manage to sneak veggies in. I love to cook when I am home, and yes I have a pretty good metabolism."
Is it a Ski Racing Road Show?
"We pull pranks on each on the team but probably one of the funniest things was a crazy fan pouring beer into Scott McCarty's ski boots. In Kitzbühell we have 100,000 drunk fans at the finish line, it gets wild, the Europeans are so passionate about ski racing and attending the races. It's a crazy party."
Ligety was sitting next to Bode Miller when Bode declared he'd lost 20 pounds to beat Ted in GS. "He's funny. I am looking forward to having Bode back on the tour. He's a great competitor, he pushes me to work harder, we get along extremely well. Bode and I are the older guys on the team now." Ligety is 29, Miller is 35
Ligety's fave ski films?
"I was in the last two Warren Miller movies (Ticket to Ride and Flow State), so those are certainly favorites of mine, I like the retro ski films too like Greg Stump's "Blizzard of Ahhhs."
Ted on Head & Shred:
Ted skis on Head, and in his spare time, Ligety leads the creative process at Shred - his own athlete designed goggle and helmet company he started in 2006. Ted is President and key tester of all products, every time he skis he is studying ways to advance, tweak or restructure his Shred Optic goggles and Half Brain helmets. Shred is headquartered in Nashua, New Hampshire.
Lindsey is dating Tiger, Ted's love interest or beloved pet?
I would be a horribly neglectful pet owner since I am on the road so much. I have a girlfriend, Mia, she skis and travels with me some, but she's not in ski racing which helps keeps me grounded.
Valentine's Victory for Ligety?
Look for Ted's Olympic return Valentine's Day 2014 from Sochi in the Super combined (hoping to reclaim Gold from his 2006 Torino win) followed by the Super G, GS and Slalom.
Eric Wilbur is a lifelong recreational skier who spends most of his winter and spring in the mountains of New England. He does not ski in jeans. You can read more of Eric's work here.
Heather Burke is an award winning ski journalist with over a decade of ski news coverage. As a former ski instructor and a ski parent, she knows the ski biz from the inside out. She and her family visit New England ski resorts, as well as the West and Canada, to report on the latest trends and their best family finds. Her husband Greg takes all the accompanying photos, and their work can be seen at www.familyskitrips.com and www.luxuryskitrips.com.