In 2013, Ted Ligety took over the world, or at least the World Cup.
First, he won six giant slalom races, earning his fourth Audi FIS World Cup giant slalom title. Second, at the World Championships, Ligety won gold in super G, super combined and giant slalom. In doing so, he became the first man to win three world championship events since skiing legend Jean Claude Killy took a hat trick in 1968. Third, as the season ended Ligety found himself on the overall World Cup podium, placing third.
Without a doubt, 2013 solidified his position as one of the world's best alpine ski racers.
10 Minutes with Ted
In early October, I had a chance to interview Ted Ligety. He was busy doing press events in support of Winter Olympic Games sponsor Vick's (of DayQuil and NyQuil fame). This is the ground we covered in 10 minutes.
KL: What are your goals for the 2014 World Cup season?
TL: I want to stay at the same level this season as I ended last season. Last year was really great, so it will be hard to repeat. But I hope to win the giant slalom title again and challenge for the overall title.
The Sochi Olympics are also a main focus. I hope to medal in three events: super G, super combined and giant slalom. I think I can also challenge for a medal in slalom.
KL: What are you most excited about for the Winter Olympics?
TL: Sochi will be my third Olympics, and I'm coming into these games in a stronger position than I've been in years past. I hope to capitalize on this.
I'm also familiar with the race venues, because of the partnership between the U.S. Ski Team and the Russian team. The giant slalom course is similar to the one at Beaver Creek, Colo. -- a moderate course with big terrain changes that suits me well. I think the slalom and speed venues are also good.
KL: You started ski racing at age 10. What advice do you have for young racers?
TL: The most important thing you need to do is have fun. You also need to be willing to work hard. When I grew up, I had a lot of fun ski racing with my friends. We pushed each other and this made it easier to work hard.
KL: Any advice for ski racing parents?
TL: My parents never pushed me to ski race. It was my choice and something I really wanted to do. I would have rebelled if they had pushed me and I wouldn't have had the same passion.
I think it is important to let your kids have independence and ownership. Let your kids do what they have a passion for.
KL: What do you do when you're not ski racing?
TL: I like to mountain bike and play sports with my friends. My company Shred, with a line of goggles, helmets and sunglasses, is a good distraction for me. Most of what I do focuses on skiing, ski racing and having fun.
KL: Park City Mountain Resort is your home mountain. Do you have any tips about skiing there?
TL: Skiing down to Main Street is one of the coolest things you can do. Check out the town and have lunch. Then take the Town Lift back up onto the mountain. Not a lot of people know that you can do this.
My other tip? Ski Jupiter Lift on a powder day.
This post originally appeared on the Liftopia blog.