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Ted Ligety - what's the deal?

post #1 of 23
Thread Starter 
I was going to hijack the Bode thread, but figured this might not get as much play over there....

What's up with Ted? from the middle to end of last season, he just kept getting faster and faster, and by the end of the season, was crushing everyone into oblivion. Why can't he post a decent result this year? Did the time off over the summer give him too much time to let the coaches into his head and eff him up?

Has anyone been analyzing his runs? Why is he slower, less balanced, etc? I haven't really noticed anything. I did notice that he seems to be skiing from his tails, but he did that last year too, and did fine skiing that way. Maybe he's just trying too hard, skiing too straight of a line and can't hold an edge because he's building up too much pressure to get the skis around (this comes from the booting out and side slipping I've seen him doing).

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post #2 of 23
Sounds like post-Super Bowl syndrome where the winning team rarely repeats (and often misses the play-offs) due to too many public appearances & sponsorship events in the off season causing their conditioning, training and focus to wane. Ted winning the gold has had the same effect.
post #3 of 23
Broken hand over the first few weeks of Winter, equipment change and he has been smoking a few runs here are there.. Just needs to catch a break or two..

Did you see that Byggmark kid.. Man that guy makes Bode look in control..
post #4 of 23
John, it seemed to me that his hand injury sure had him spooked and tentative early on. Noticed in his weekly newspaper musings as it seemed to be a constant subject for some time...could this be causal?
post #5 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by DonDenver View Post
John, it seemed to me that his hand injury sure had him spooked and tentative early on. Noticed in his weekly newspaper musings as it seemed to be a constant subject for some time...could this be causal?
I don't know which hand he hurt, but judging by yesterdays night race, and the way he was planting the outrigger on both sides on a lot of the turns, it didn't look like he was favoring a bad hand. I was just seeing him being late and not holding an edge.

In the night SL, he ran a crappy 1st run, more than 3 seconds out and barely made the cut to the 2nd run. the 2nd run was mildly respectable, but still a half second behind Raich and Biggmark, and only the 4th fastest of the top 25 (they only show times of the top 25 on WCSN : ).

I have to wonder if Rio is right, and he's not as focused as he needs to be and isn't getting the training time in.
post #6 of 23
Hey guys, I've been saying all along...

It's the skis. It's always been the skis!!
post #7 of 23

... Or the Boots

It could be the skis, actually. And I don't even have any brand name in my handle (except for shoes, but that doesn't count). More seriously, boots could be a more sensitive area. You'd think he'd be getting ultra-close attention, though ... if he really wanted, I suppose they'd build him some orangish Dobermann copies.

The hand thing is a possibility. Even if it's healed now, SL is so much a matter of quick reflexes and innate balance (particularly as practiced by Mr. Ligety) that the injury and having a cast on, then off, could upset the feel just enough to create a problem.

Minor aside:
Quote:
(they only show times of the top 25 on WCSN : )
Only 30 racers run the second run; there were probably 5 second-run DNFs.
post #8 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnH View Post
I have to wonder if Rio is right, and he's not as focused as he needs to be and isn't getting the training time in.
Could be, as I do recall another column that Ted wrote mentioning all the “other stuff” that goes with post Olympic Gold caught him a bit. Easy to say he should stay focused but at his age and all the “other stuff” of celebrity, new sponsor & corporate gigs and high expectations, I’m certainly I’m not surprised. Regardless, no matter how great a talent, the ability to stay focused with everything else distracting at that level is what historically separates longstanding excellence from one hit wonders.
post #9 of 23
I was starting to wonder what happened to Ted as well. I understand his hand injury was a big problem early on but I thought he would be over that by now. It looks like his first runs have been slow lately and his second runs have been more competitive. He's never had a problem winning splits and individual runs, but I think most skiers need to mature a bit before they can put two together regularly.

From what I've seen of slaloms this year, and it has been limited, it looks like other guys are starting to turn more like Ligety generating more extreme edge angles and faster runs. Watching the Austrians at Schladming yesterday was a reminder of how technically crisp and fast their slalom is.

I wish Ted and the rest the best, hopefully they can shake whatever slalom bug is going around the USST and go big in Are.
post #10 of 23
My niece is good friends with Ted they were both on the Park City Ski team. Before Ted went on to the US ski team and she off to Collage. Can't say for sure whats going on, but he did have some fun this past Summer. He is still a nice guy and as said young. never heard anything about really wild parties, but he did treat his friends on more then one occasion to a night on the Town. Making Millions at 21 might have something to do with it.
post #11 of 23
Quote:
Originally Posted by Barnstormer View Post
...it looks like other guys are starting to turn more like Ligety generating more extreme edge angles and faster runs. Watching the Austrians at Schladming yesterday was a reminder of how technically crisp and fast their slalom is.
Astute observation...
post #12 of 23
Dunno about million utah .. Here is a guy who had mom+dad on his helmet space last year because he didnt have a helmet sponsorhip.. He did start his own goggle company.. www.shredoptics.com..

I think its just a timing thing and the Slalom results seem to go in streaks.. Rocca last year, now Byggmark this year..
post #13 of 23
After his Olympic win He signed contracts with diffrent sponcers in the Millions His Parents sell Real Estate in Park City. I really don't know them well but hhave been to some social events.
One week he was a poor ski racer living off off peanuts the next he is the Golden Boy. Still a pretty nice down to earth kid with a level head. I think half the 20 something girls in Park City want to marry him, the rest just want to have his baby.
post #14 of 23
He sprained his ankle January 16th playing flag football. Kind of reminds me of the Mahres and how they were always getting injured playing basketball in between Worldcups. Hopefully he allows it to heal and gets on another hot streak for the Worlds

- Fossil
post #15 of 23
I think we should look upon him with scorn for not delivering the results we desire, and the coaches should enact rules to restrict his behavior as a condition of his tenure on the ski team.
post #16 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by volantaddict View Post
I think we should look upon him with scorn for not delivering the results we desire, and the coaches should enact rules to restrict his behavior as a condition of his tenure on the ski team.
Yeah! Where's the media to beat the crap out of a kid when you need them?:

A sprained ankle on Jan 16 could have some impact.
post #17 of 23
It'a a lot easier to compete from the under-dog role as expectations are the many times the toughest thing to live up to.
post #18 of 23
Yes, excuses and "sandbagging" can be a fine tactics; but dropping the hammer a bit late is very difficult.

Humbly submitted,
Alberto Tomba
post #19 of 23
Same thing happened to Bode when he switched to Rossi.
I always thought Ted skied like Bode only he could make it more often. Skis were the first thing that went through my head when I saw him struggle. Remember Rossi took Bode's Fischers and tried to copy them to give him a ski he liked.
post #20 of 23
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by SLATZ View Post
Same thing happened to Bode when he switched to Rossi.
I always thought Ted skied like Bode only he could make it more often. Skis were the first thing that went through my head when I saw him struggle. Remember Rossi took Bode's Fischers and tried to copy them to give him a ski he liked.
I sort of recall, last year, while with Atomic, Bode was still saying that for SL, the Fishers were the best ski he ever had.

As the old Nike ad said - It's gotta be the shoes!
post #21 of 23
I also look to the skis: on Völkl skis, his technique worked; on Rossis, not so much. And given that Ted is placing a lot of force on his skis, and that his technique evolved on the Völkls, a switch was a big-time risk.

The injuries also may play a role, especially given that Ted's technique creates a lot of force, and any pain can be a factor: tiny flinches that aren't perceptible to the naked eye could be throwing him off. Compensating for a broken hand or a sprained ankle will add up.

He also looks a lot stiffer and "blocked in" than he did last year. One of the hallmarks of Ted's skiing last year was how loose and fluid he looked while performing his extreme-angle ballet. This year, he looks a lot less flexible and fluid, tying to force things to happen that used to occur naturally. This could be a side effect of his injuries and fitness level, or a side effect of his skis not working as he wants - my money is more on the latter than the former.

And it's true: the Austrians, Swedes and other teams are catching up with Ted's technique. But they're doing it one better, in many cases, by making it more balanced and less prone to extreme upper body movements. Watching the Swedes or Austrians at Schladming, you saw the extreme angles without as much extraneous upper body motion to compensate for thrown balance.

And given that the Swedes had a lot of racers in the second run at Schladming, they must be on to something.
post #22 of 23
I'll go with Ligety's boots.

Go to wcsn.com and watch the 2nd run SL at Schladming. A great race, a great test, a grueler of a course, and fantastic skiing by the top three.

The Rossi/Lange athletes in that run are easy to pick out. Try it.

Back to Ligety - He skied differently in the Nordica. At this point, his boot change to Rossi/Lange is not for the better.
post #23 of 23
whygimf, I agree: the boots are definitely a part of the equation with Ted. I think it's a shame that he followed the money to Rossi, rather than stay with a setup - Völkl/Marker/Nordica - that wasn't broken in the least and worked for his technical strengths.

Same goes with Bode: he did better in SL on Nordica than he has with Atomic and Head. However, his DH and SG improved markedly on the Atomic and Head boot (and ski) setup. The only constant: his GS has stayed strong throughout.
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