With World Cup alpine downhill ski racers Bode Miller and Lindsey Vonn sidelined with injuries, fellow American racer Ted Ligety took center stage in Schladming, Austria, on Friday by becoming the first man in 45 years to win three gold medals at ski racing’s world championships. He also became the first American man to accomplish the feat, and fifth man ever. The last man to win at least three gold medals at the world championships was Jean-Claude Killy in 1968.
Earlier, Ligety won the super G and super combined. Here are the two runs Ligety made in the giant slalom for this third gold at the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships:
More from the Associated Press (via SI):
“I still don’t think I recognize what I’ve done this week,” Ligety said. “It’s just been so phenomenal to win three gold medals, especially in two events that I hadn’t won in before.” [...]
Killy’s feat came on home snow in Grenoble in a year when the Winter Olympics doubled as the world championships. He swept gold in all three Olympic events–giant slalom, slalom, and downhill–and was awarded another worlds gold for combined.
The only other three men to accomplish the feat were Emile Allais, the first great French skier, who won three events at the 1937 worlds in Chamonix, France; Norwegian pioneer Stein Eriksen, who took home three golds from the 1954 worlds in Are, Sweden; and Toni Sailer, one of the first great Austrian skiers who won four golds at the1956 Olympics in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy, which also doubled as worlds, and three at the 1958 worlds in Bad Gastein, Austria.
“To be among those names, to have three gold medals at world championships, is a really cool feeling,” Ligety said. “It’s not something I set out to accomplish.”