Ted Ligety, perhaps the top multiple-medal threat for the U.S., does not expect to enter every Alpine skiing event at the Sochi Olympics.
The two-time Olympian (and 2006 Olympic combined champion) raised expectations for his third Games by winning three gold medals at the World Championships in February.
Ligety, 29, swept the super-G, giant slalom and the super combined in Schladming, Austria, becoming the first man since French legend Jean-Claude Killy in 1968 to win three or more golds at a single worlds.
Ligety also entered the slalom but did not finish the first of two runs. He did not enter the downhill.
Which brings up the Sochi Olympics schedule. Ligety has never raced a downhill at an Olympics or a World Championships. That streak should continue in 2014.
The Park City, Utah, native said he plans to enter the same events in Sochi as he did in Schladming and at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics — super-G, giant slalom, slalom and super combined but no downhill.
“They (downhills) just take up too much time with three training runs and the race; really it’s a four-day event in a lot of ways,” he said. “If I want to prepare for the giant slalom, slalom and super-G as much as I’d like to, then that just doesn’t make too much sense. So, unless I’m winning downhills (this season), I don’t foresee myself doing the downhill at the Games.”
The downhill is the first event of the Alpine skiing calendar on Sunday, Feb. 9, two days after the opening ceremony. Ligety’s race schedule would begin a week after the opening ceremony:
Friday, Feb. 14 — super combined
Sunday, Feb. 16 — super-G
Wednesday, Feb. 19 — giant slalom
Saturday, Feb. 22 — slalom
Ligety raced in two of the eight downhills on last year’s World Cup circuit. He placed 31st in Beaver Creek, Colo., and did not finish in Kitzbuehel, Austria.
He’s readying for the first World Cup event of this season in his favorite discipline, giant slalom, in Soelden, Austria, on Oct. 26. There, he’s expected to go head to head with his biggest rival, Austrian Marcel Hirscher.