GEPA pictures/ Christian Walgram

Ted Ligety surprised by drug test; signs deal with Coke

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Despite Olympic champ Ted Ligety becoming the first man since 1968 to win three golds at the Alpine Ski World Championships, his career has been a bit overshadowed this year by both the injury and social life of fellow skier Lindsey Vonn.

And now, so has his drug test. While Vonn being surprised by USADA testers at the CFDA awards made the front page of every sports, gossip, and fashion site – this one included – Ligety is the only one reporting that he was similarly ambushed by testers after landing at the Utah airport Monday.

“They got me too,” Ligety wrote, seemingly to Lindsey, on his Facebook page Monday. “Tested in long term parking this morning at the airport.”

We hope he was at least afforded the opportunity to use a restroom when giving the testers a urine sample, but this photo out by a truck doesn’t suggest that reality. The good news: Ligety should soon be a household name after signing a sponsorship deal with Coca Cola to represent the brand in Sochi.

“To be associated with a company like Coke, you have to be among the best,” Ligety told USA Today. “They’re not going to pick the 20th fastest athlete in the world. I think that’s cool validation of what you’ve done in your sport and who you are as well… It’s just cool to see them recognizing that.”

Ashton Eaton named male IAAF Athlete of the Year

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American decathlete Ashton Eaton was named the 2015 male Athlete of the Year by the International Association of Athletics Federations, the world governing body for track and field. Ethiopia’s Genzebe Dibaba, the reigning world champion in the 1500m, was named the female IAAF Athlete of the Year.

Eaton is the first decathlete and just the eighth American man to win the title. Tyson Gay in 2007 was the last American man to be named.

The honor came due to Eaton’s world-record-setting performance at the world championships held in Beijing this past August. There he beat the previous record, his own from the 2012 Olympic Trials, by nine points. He also set a world record for running the fastest 400m portion of the decathlon in 45.00 seconds.

In the IAAF press release, Eaton said, “Athletes spend the most vigorous years of human life, arguably called the ‘best years’, working to hone their abilities. So, when an athlete competes, what people are witnessing is the manifestation of what a human being is capable of when they choose to direct all of their time and effort towards something.

“I’m grateful and thankful to the IAAF for excellent competitions, the canvases that allow us to display our work.”

He also acknowledged sprinter Usain Bolt and triple jumper Christian Taylor, who were also up for the title: “While I’m honored that I am considered the ‘artist’ of the year, I did not beat Usain and Christian; my work simply differed in design. They are some of the most talented and beautiful performers of all time. I’m flattered to be among them.”

Dibaba has been unbeaten in the 1500m over five races in 2015. Along with winning gold and setting a world record in the 1500 at the Beijing World Championships, Diababa won a bronze medal in the 5000m event.

She gratefully accepted the award, saying, “After being a finalist and narrowly missing out on this award one year ago, I am very proud to be recognized by the fans and experts of our sport.

“I had a great season and truly enjoyed competing around the world, from Monaco where I managed to establish a world record, to Beijing where I finally captured my first world outdoor title.”

Dibaba was recently featured in a family-themed promotional video for the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio.

MORE: Seb Coe splits from Nike as IAAF president


Olympians celebrate Thanksgiving

Meryl Davis
Team USA/ Twitter
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Nov. 26 – or Thanksgiving to the rest of us – is oftentimes a typical training day for many Olympians and Olympic hopefuls. Here’s a look at how some of them spent the day training, competing, celebrating, and being thankful.

Workout football and food😁👍!!! Happy thanksgiving everyone!!!

A photo posted by Michael Phelps (@m_phelps00) on

Happy Thanksgiving from our cold cuts Turkey to yours! #family #happyhappyheart

A photo posted by @cammileadams on

Happy Thanksgiving from the SwimMAC Parade crew!

A photo posted by Tyler Clary (@tylerclary) on


MORE: NBC’s Thanksgiving Rio promo