U.S. skiers put on a good showing this past weekend, especially those coming back from injury. Ted Ligety took the giant slalom win on Birds of Prey at Beaver Creek, while Lindsey Vonn topped the podium at Lake Louise’s downhill race.
Ligety had a tough go of it early in the season, finishing 10th in Soelden, Austria, after hitting a rock on the course and breaking a bone in his wrist during training in late November. According to the Denver Post, the 30-year-old Park City native was sitting in fourth place after his first run but had the fastest second run and finished 0.18 seconds ahead of France’s Alexis Pinturault.
“First run I was maybe a little bit grindy, which is pushing a little bit late on the turn,” Ligety told the Post. “On this aggressive snow, your skis bounce a little bit, and that’s just bleeding tiny hundredths of a second here and there. When you do that the whole way down, it definitely adds up. Second run I was able to find [the fall line,] so I was knifing through the turn, wasn’t grinding as much. It definitely felt a lot better.”
This weekend was Ligety’s fifth win on Birds of Prey, boding well for his chances come February when the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships take place there.
Vonn first injured her knee in a wipeout at the world championships in March 2013. She had surgery but partially tore one of her reconstructed ligaments in a training crash three months before Sochi. She attempted to make it back in time for the games but sprained her MCL in a downhill race last December and needed another operation.
Vonn’s first win in almost two years was her 12th World Cup downhill victory at Lake Louise. She claimed first place by almost half a second over runner-up Stacey Cook, according to the International Ski Federation’s release.
“My knee feels really good,” she told USA Today. “I don’t think about my knee at all. I don’t ski differently because of it. I’m back to doing what I used to do.”
The men and women head to Are, Sweden, this weekend for slalom and giant slalom competitions.