The USA gained another gold medal on Feb. 19, when Ted Ligety, 29, finished in first place in the men’s giant slalom event. Americans celebrated the sweet victory but Ted’s reaction was even sweeter!
It was his second career gold medal in the event, but Ted Ligety wanted this victory more than anything. The skier from Park City, Utah had been waiting for years for this moment, and he finished Wednesday’s giant slalom event in a fittingly dramatic way.
Ted Ligety Wins Gold Medal In Giant Slalom: Athlete Falls To Ground With Emotion
According to ABC, Ted really wanted this gold medal, and after waiting for four years for this opportunity, he just wanted to get it over with — while still coming out on top, of course.
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“It was a huge relief,” he said as he fell to the ground with great emotion after the event. “All season long, everybody talks about the Olympics, Olympics, Olympics. At a certain point I was like, ‘Let’s do it already. Let’s get this thing over with, so we can stop talking about the pressure and everything with it’. So it’s awesome to … finally do it and get the monkey off the back.”
For those who don’t know, giant slalom is an alpine skiing event that involves skiing between sets of poles, or gates, down a hill with a steep vertical drop. Ted finished the event with a combined time of two minutes and 45.29 seconds, winning by almost a half a second.
“His first run was flawless, free,” U.S. men’s head coach Sasha Rearick said. “He trusted himself, it was his signature skiing. The second run was a strategic chess match, which he executed brilliantly.”
Ted’s gold medal is the first medal for the U.S. Alpine team during the Sochi Olympics, and his second career gold medal in the event — he won eight years ago in the Turin Games in Italy when he was 21 years old. On Feb. 19, Ted became the second American, along with Andrea Mead Lawrence, to win two Alpine gold medals!
Other Alpine Skiers React To Ted’s Performance
If you are into the Winter Olympics, then you probably know who Bode Miller is. Bode, 40, who has an American record six Alpine medals, probably competed in his last Olympic event this year, finishing 20th in the event. Bode was quick to congratulate Ted afterwards, arguing that he was simply better than everyone else.
“He carries so much speed and doesn’t make mistakes, those are the things that separate him,” Bode said. “Other guys carry speed for a couple of turns and struggle a bit. He just carries it smooth from top to bottom.”
French skier Steve Missillier won the silver medal, but he acknowledged that was pretty much the best he could do. “It is impossible [to beat Ligety],” he said. “For me and, I think, for all racers.”
As of Feb. 20, the U.S. is in third place in the Olympics with seven gold medals, but it has the most total medals with 23.
What do YOU think, HollywoodLifers? Are you enjoying the 2014 Olympics so far? Did you enjoy Ted’s victory? Let us know below!
— Ryan Daugherty