Sochi, Russian Federation (4E Sports) – Ted Ligety of the United States bagged his second Olympic gold after becoming the first non-European to win the men’s giant slalom title Wednesday at the Sochi Winter Olympics.
The 29-year-old Ligety submitted the fastest time in the first run and beat France’s Steve Missillier by 0.48 seconds. Another Frenchman, 22-year-old Alexis Pinturault, was third, 0.64 seconds behind.
“This is the event I have been putting so much pressure on myself to win, so to pull through is an awesome feeling,” said Ligety, a four-time World Cup giant slalom champion and the reigning world super-G and world super-combined titlist.
“I feel really lucky I had such a good first run because I didn’t have to take all the risks in the second.” added Ligety, who was the youngest American men’s alpine Olympic medalist in Turin in 2006.
Overall World Cup champion Marcel Hirscher of Austria was fourth, 0.94 seconds behind while Bode Miller came 20th.
Ligety was clocked 1:21.08 in the first run to lead Czech Ondrej Bank by 0.93 seconds then held off of the charging French duo, despite only recording the 14th fastest time in run two, to seal the win.
Missillier was quickest in the second run to climb from 10th and clinch his first Olympic medal in his second Games. Pinturault, the 2011 world junior giant slalom champion, posted the second best time to claim a first medal on his Olympic debut.