Local ski racer Ted Ligety will be racing yet again this upcoming season. Although the ski legend will be cutting back to just one event.
Two-time Olympic gold medalist Ted Ligety says that despite a dissapointing 2019, after battling injuries including a season ending ACL tear in 2016 and a season ending back surgery in 2017, he’ll be back for the 2019/2020 ski season.
“I’m feeling really good right now,” Ligety explained. “Just training every day at the US ski team gym. I'm 34 years old almost 35 and so there's a lot of hard miles on my body up to this point, but I'm still enjoying it. Right now, I feel really healthy and trying to get to a point where I feel I can win races. That's the goal right now.”
Ligety admits he’s unsure when will be his last season.
“I’m probably closer to that point than further away,” Ligety continued. “I'll definitely go one more year. I'm only going to Giants Slalom this year, so it'll be a little bit easier schedule on my body. I'll be able to be home a little bit more as well and then we see. I mean I would like to keep going as long as I feel like I can win races and feel healthy. That's really the biggest part and nowadays I have a two-year-old son and there's more factors than there was when I was 25 years old.”
Ligety says he won’t keep racing if he doesn’t believe he can win. He says if he can manage his pain, he thinks he can continue to podium.
“Hopefully this year I’m able to figure out a way to mitigate those issues,” Ligety said. “Then I feel like I can be back on top again. When you're always trying to ski through pain it makes it really difficult. I feel like if I can get back to that point—and I feel like I can—I have those skills and have that intensity. It's just a matter of getting to that point and staying healthy.”
Part of that management will be decreasing the number of events he competes in by only participating in Giant Slalom.
“My entire career I've been one of the few guys that’s skied most events every single weekend,” Ligety explained. “I think I have 300 and something World Cup races which is a lot of races compared to most people. So, a lot of hard miles. I think just limiting it to Giant Slalom, which has been my bread and butter for most of my career anyways, I think that allows me to focus and ramp the miles down a little bit. Also gives me more time in the gym and more time to really take care of the things that need to be taken care of to keep my body going well.”
Ligety has been busy holding his annual summer ski camp at Mt. Hood in Oregon as well as running his business Shred Optics. Right now, Ligety is working out daily in the gym, running and mountain biking. He’ll be skiing in New Zealand in August before the racing season begins in October.
Ligety says he’s enjoying his summer in Park City and looks forward to being able to do a little skiing in Park City this winter for the first time in about 20 years. He says only skiing Giant Slalom this year will give him schedule flexibility meaning he’ll be able to do some skiing with his two-year-old son Jax.
“He was skiing starting in November last year really,” Ligety continued. “So, it's been fun, and we lived close to Round Valley. So, we take him into Round Valley on the strider or the mac ride and he just loves going fast on that stuff too. He's always telling me to ‘go super-fast dada.’”