Ted Ligety has now gone seven straight World Cup giant slaloms without making the podium. Making matters worse is a back injury, the latest in a series of health setbacks during the drought.
“I just have stabbing pain all the way down my leg, nerve pain, so I haven’t been able to ski much,” the 32-year-old Ligety said, according to the U.S. Ski Team on Sunday. “I’ve been getting injections and trying to get it sorted out but it hasn’t really turned the corner yet.”
Ligety skied out 12 gates into his first run in a World Cup giant slalom in Alta Badia, Italy, on Sunday. Austrian rival Marcel Hirscher won for the 41st time in his career.
Of his last seven giant slaloms dating to last season, Ligety has failed to finish four times and placed fourth, fifth and 11th.
This for a man who won the last three world titles and the 2014 Olympic giant slalom crown, plus five World Cup season titles in the discipline.
Ligety’s World Cup giant slalom podium drought is his longest since he notched the first top-three finish of his career in 2006. He racked up 40 podiums in a decade.
Ligety skied last season after suffering three herniated disks in his back and tearing a hip labrum. The campaign ended prematurely when he tore his right ACL on Jan. 27.
The men have one more World Cup race before Christmas, a parallel giant slalom in Alta Badia on Monday.
Ligety will not race Monday.Follow @nzaccardi