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Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics: Ted Ligety wins gold in giant slalom

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American skier Ted Ligety not only became the first American man to win two Olympic gold medals in Alpine skiing, he dominated the event on Wednesday (Feb. 19) in Sochi. As the Associated Press reports on Feb. 19, the American skier delivered a memorable performance as he took home the gold in the giant slalom event.

In perfect conditions, Ligety led after his first run by 1.5 seconds over Steve Missillier of France before he finished strong, speeding down the Rosa Khutor course in a two-leg combined time of 2 minutes, 45.29 seconds. The time beat Missillier by 0.48 seconds and bronze medalist Alexis Pinturault of France by 0.64.

With the victory, Ligety became just the second American to win two Olympic golds in Alpine skiing. He also became the first American male skier to win the Olympic giant slalom.

Ligety celebrated a day of firsts by twirling around in the finish area while still on his skis. As one of the best giant slalom skiers over the last few years, winning the gold medal seemed inevitable for the 29-year-old Utah native. He will now add an Olympic gold medal to his 14 World Cup giant slalom victories. Fellow skier Bode Miller called him the best.

“I think he’s one of the best GS skiers in history. He’s so much better at it than everybody else….He just is so consistent. He makes no errors. And anybody who’s trying to cut off line just ends up making mistakes and it makes a huge gap.”

Ligety proved Miller right as both of his runs showcased his smooth technique and ability to fluently capture sharp turns and find the best angles to capture the course.

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