Mar 15, 2014, 8:35 AM EDT
Ted Ligety won the World Cup giant slalom season title by .01 of a second and a points tiebreaker in one of the tightest title races in Alpine skiing history Saturday.
“This has always been the big goal, every single year, to win the giant slalom cup,” Ligety said. “That was by the skin of my teeth today.”
Ligety, the Olympic and world champion in giant slalom, won the World Cup Finals giant slalom race in Lenzerheide, Switzerland, on Saturday.
But he needed help from other skiers to pass Austrian Marcel Hirscher for the season title, which accumulates points from eight races over the last five months.
Hirscher, who had made the podium in six of seven GS races this season, had to finish fourth or worse if Ligety won on Saturday. Ligety skied next to last in the second and final run and into the lead, pushing Hirscher to third.
The last man, first-run leader Felix Neureuther of Germany, needed to finish behind Ligety but ahead of Hirscher for Ligety to win his fifth GS crystal globe in seven years. Neureuther had to ski within a window of .27.
Neureuther crossed the finish .26 behind Ligety and, more importantly, .01 ahead of Hirscher.
“Felix, I owe a lot of beers,” Ligety said.
That meant Ligety and Hirscher tied for 560 points this season, and Ligety won the season title via a tiebreaker. The tie was broken by total GS wins this season. Ligety had five. Hirscher had two.
“That was a tough race this year,” Ligety said. “I was able to win quite a bit of giant slaloms, but it’s really a testament to the mental fortitude of Marcel, to be able to get in there on the podium basically every single race and make it a super, really tough fight this year, and really every year.”
Hirscher, wearing sunglasses at the finish, looked expressionless.
He wore the face of “a beaten man,” according to Eurosport commentators, despite the fact that Hirscher clinched his third straight overall World Cup title Saturday, assuming Norway’s Aksel Lund Svindal sticks by his word and isn’t entered in Sunday’s slalom finale.
Lenzerheide Giant Slalom
1. Ted Ligety (USA) 2:15.63
2. Alexis Pinturault (FRA) 2:15.66
3. Felix Neureuther (GER) 2:15.89
4. Marcel Hirscher (AUT) 2:15.90
5. Roberto Nani (ITA) 2:16.08
6. Fritz Dopfer (GER) 2:16.27
7. Luca De Aliprandini (ITA) 2:16.35
8. Henrik Kristoffersen (NOR) 2:16.37
9. Matts Olsson (SWE) 2:16.51
10. Steve Missillier (FRA) 2:16.54
14. Tim Jitloff (USA) 2:17.12
15. Bode Miller (USA) 2:17.17
Final World Cup Giant Slalom Standings
1. Ted Ligety (USA) — 560
2. Marcel Hirscher (AUT) — 560
3. Alexis Pinturault (FRA) — 378
Aug 20, 2014, 11:59 PM EDT
U.S. star first suffered back spasms at Tuesday practice.
Aug 20, 2014, 5:44 PM EDT
Defending champion feels no added pressure despite seeing her face all around Pittsburgh.
Aug 20, 2014, 3:56 PM EDT
Would Davis excel in softball if she tried it?
Aug 20, 2014, 11:56 AM EDT
Can Allyson Felix finally topple Tori Bowie?
Aug 20, 2014, 9:23 AM EDT
First medals awarded on an Olympic stage in rugby since 1924.
Aug 20, 2014, 8:46 AM EDT
Lily Zhang scored a breakthrough for U.S. table tennis.
Aug 20, 2014, 8:28 AM EDT
Gold medalists Hannah Moore and Clara Smiddy will go from Nanjing to Ann Arbor.
Aug 20, 2014, 8:04 AM EDT
U.S. vs. Australia in sprint head to head; outlook for Phelps and Lochte.
Aug 20, 2014, 8:04 AM EDT
Will Katie Ledecky be tested?
Aug 20, 2014, 5:34 AM EDT
Phelps’ debut in Australia pushed back to Friday.
Aug 20, 2014, 5:08 AM EDT
Video of Franklin being gingerly helped away from the pool.
Aug 19, 2014, 3:06 PM EDT
Phelps also reflects on his first Olympics, also in Australia.
Aug 19, 2014, 11:36 AM EDT
More medals could be in Indy native’s future in Nanjing.
Aug 19, 2014, 10:40 AM EDT
Former Giant must shoot for a specific distance in the triple jump.
Aug 19, 2014, 9:55 AM EDT
Summer and Winter Olympian said she has taken no breaks more than two days in the last two years.
Aug 19, 2014, 9:39 AM EDT
Canadian makes Olympic history with first career hole-in-one.
Aug 19, 2014, 9:04 AM EDT
Athletes gaining social media friends via interesting device in Nanjing.
Aug 18, 2014, 10:21 PM EDT
Watch what happens when the world’s best teenage athletes interview themselves.
Aug 18, 2014, 7:45 AM EDT
The Jamaican sprinter finishes in 10.06 on Copcabana beach, nearly half a second off his world-record pace.
Aug 17, 2014, 10:21 PM EDT
Team USA won its first three medals at the Youth Olympics in Nanjing Sunday.
- Simone Biles a tall favorite at P&G Championships; women’s preview 0
- Jennie Finch, Lisa Fernandez weigh in on Mo’ne Davis 0
- Pan Pacific Championships men’s events preview 0
- Pan Pacific Championships women’s events preview 0
- Missy Franklin (back) in doubt for Pan Pacific Championships 0
- Golf debuts at Youth Olympics with hole-in-one (video) 0
- Youth Olympics begin with festive Opening Ceremony in Nanjing (photos) 0
- Emotional Bode Miller medals in race that mattered most (61)
- Russian women kissing after relay victory at World Championships causes stir (56)
- IOC drops wrestling from 2020 Olympics (47)
- South Korea filing official complaint over Yuna Kim’s Olympic silver (38)
- Zola Budd, 47, dominates college runners in 5K (33)