No presidential text for low-profile Ligety

Fri Feb 15, 2013 1:59pm EST
 
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By Brian Homewood

SCHLADMING, Austria (Reuters) - Ted Ligety might not have received a message from President Barack Obama after completing his hat-trick of skiing world titles on Friday, but it was still an astonishing achievement.

An unassuming figure in a sport which struggles for airtime outside a few Alpine nations, the American was just happy to get a few texts from his closest friends.

"Barack didn't text me," joked Ligety after it was pointed out that Aksel Lund Svindal receives congratulatory messages from the King of Norway when he wins major titles.

"I had a few emails from my friends... my brother wasn't here but I think he would have come if he had known it would have been like this."

Ligety, who also won the super-G and super combined events over the past two weeks, became the first male skier for 45 years to win three titles at the same world championships when he sealed victory in Friday's giant slalom.

Some experts argue it was more difficult in the past to complete a treble when there were only three disciplines instead of five nowadays.

However, Sasha Rearick, coach of the United States men's skiing team, said the opposite was true.

"No one has done this in the modern era because of the development of the World Cup," he said, referring to the season-long circuit which involves weekly races in venues around Europe and North America.   Continued...

 
Gold medallist Ted Ligety of the U.S. bites his gold medals during the medal ceremony of the men's giant slalom event at the FIS alpine skiing world championships in Schladming February 15, 2013. REUTERS/Dominic Ebenbichler