After a bout of early season bad luck, giant slalom champion Ted Ligety could set himself up for a strong finish with a good showing this week at Beaver Creek, Colorado. The FIS Alpine World Ski Championships will be held there in February.
The two-time Olympic gold medalist finished 10th in the first giant slalom race of the season after hitting a rock on the course in Soelden, Austria. The rock dulled the edge of one of his skis, making it nearly impossible to initiate turns. Then, on November 22, Ligety smacked his left hand on the bottom of a gate during a training run at Golden Peak in Vail. That left him with a broken bone in his wrist; he had four screws inserted two hours later, according to NBC Sports.
“It feels pretty good now,” Ligety, 30, told the Denver Post after a Tuesday training run on the Birds of Prey. “I don’t have full range of motion yet, but not too much pain.”
Ligety’s record at Beaver Creek bodes well for his chances come February. According to the Post, he won four of the last five GS races and finished on the podium in seven of the past nine.
“I really love this hill,” Ligety told the Post. “It’s an awesome place for me to race, and it’s a hill I’ve had a lot of success on. It’s definitely more comfortable to race on than most of them.”
Ligety will enter the downhill competition on Friday, super-G on Saturday, and giant slalom on Sunday, according to NBC Sports. He will wear a splint while skiing.
“That’s my job, to be out there skiing no matter what,” Ligety told the AP, according to NBC Sports. “I wouldn’t miss this for the world.”