Ever wonder what it’s like to be U.S Alpine skiing superstar Ted Ligety? You’ll get an inside look at the Olympic gold medalist and world champion this weekend.
On Sunday from 3:30-4 p.m. ET, NBC will broadcast U.S. Ski Team 36, a documentary that will take us through the 36 hours before Ligety’s giant slalom race at Alta Badia, a ski resort nestled deep in the Italian Dolomites. We’ll see Ligety traveling on a mountain pass (in his car; skiing might take more than 36 hours), Ligety getting on the ski lift, Ligety taking practice runs and, finally, Ligety racing for a World Cup title.
Ligety, as you may know, is literally shredding the competition this season. He leads the World Cup giant slalom standings by 40 points and is third in the overall season standings.
Between NFL playoff games and this behind-the-scenes look at Ligety (who also goes by “Shred”), Sunday is shaping up to be a pretty good day.
My 18 most dominant gold medalists at the Olympics, choosing at least one from each sport.
1. Ester Ledecka, Czech Republic, Alpine Skiing/Snowboarding
Arguably the greatest athlete on the planet after taking surprise gold in Alpine skiing’s super-G and snowboarding’s parallel giant slalom (where she was the clear favorite). The 22-year-old became the third athlete to win individual Winter Olympic gold medals in different sports, the first since 1932 and the first woman. The other two were done in cross-country skiing and Nordic combined, the latter being a mixture of ski jumping and cross-country skiing. Ledecka’s feat was certainly more impressive.
2. Marit Bjørgen, Norway, Cross-Country Skiing
The most decorated athlete at the Games with five medals, including two golds. Bigger, though, is that the 37-year-old mom broke countryman Ole Einar Bjørndalen’s record for career Winter Olympic medals, finishing with 15. She also tied Bjørndalen and Bjørn Dæhlie’s record of eight Winter Olympic titles by winning the last event of the Games, the 30km, by 109 seconds, the largest Olympic cross-country margin of victory in 38 years. In her final career Olympic race.
3. Yun Sung-Bin, South Korea, Skeleton
Under host-nation pressure, the man in the Iron Man helmet had the fastest run in each of the four heats and won by 1.63 seconds, the largest margin in Olympic skeleton history.