Ted Ligety celebrates three gold medals at the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships in Schladming - first time in 45 years. (Getty Images/AFP-Samuel Kubani)
COLORADO SPRINGS, CO (Oct. 24) – The U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) has named Ted Ligety (Park City, UT) 2012-13 Olympic SportsMan of the Year, its highest annual individual athlete honor. The 2006 Olympic gold medalist produced a historic season that resulted in a three gold medals at the 2013 FIS Alpine World Ski Championship and six Audi FIS Alpine World Cup giant slalom victories en route to the fourth World Cup giant slalom title of his career. With his triple gold, he became the first man in 45 years to win three or more gold in one World Championships. The award has been presented to the top overall male and female athletes from USOC member organizations since 1974.
Two-time Olympian Ted Ligety (Park City, UT) was named Olympic SportsMan of the Year by the U.S. Olympic Committee, the organization’s top annual individual athlete honor.
Ligety will be honored Tuesday, Oct. 29 at a ceremony in New York City’s Times Square during the USOC’s 100 Days Out festivities.
Ligety is the first male alpine skier to win the award. Lindsey Vonn, Picabo Street and Tamara McKinney have previously won.
Ligety is being honored along with Katie Ledecky (Olympic SportsWoman of the Year), the U.S. Men’s Doubles Tennis Team (Olympic Team of the Year), Monica Bascio (Paralympic SportsWoman of the Year), Raymond Martin (Paralympic SportsMan of the Year) and the U.S. Men’s 4x100-meter Track & Field Team (Paralympic Team of the Year).
His historic 2013 season produced three gold medals at the FIS Alpine World Ski Championship and six Audi FIS Alpine World Cup giant slalom victories en route to the fourth World Cup giant slalom title of his career.
Ligety’s triple gold at the World Championships had not happened in 45 years since Jean Claude Killy won four gold medals at the 1968 Worlds, which also served as the Olympics at the time.
With his six World Cup victories, Ligety joined Swedish great Ingemar Stenmark as the only man to win six or more giant slalom races in a single season.
Many of Ligety’s wins were by record margins including a massive 2.75 second win at the opening race of the 2013 season in Soelden, Austria. It was the biggest margin of victory in 34 years.
The 2014 World Cup season begins Oct. 27 on the Rettenbach glacier in Soelden, the official European Home Base of the U.S. Ski Team, with live television coverage on the Universal Sports Network.
QUOTES Ted Ligety It’s definitely a huge honor to get an award like this. It’s really cool to be considered among the top athletes in the U.S. I’m innately super competitive. Because I didn’t have the best physical attributes, I had to be a hard worker. And not having that success made me become a harder worker than I would have been if I was good when I was 13 years old. I think that’s something that, as I grew older, worked to my advantage.
Bill Marolt, USSA President and CEO This award is a well-deserved testament to the amount of time, energy and hard work Ted has devoted to making himself Best in the World.
AWARD HISTORY SportsMan of the Year 1974 Jim Bolding, Track & Field 1975 Clinton Jackson, Boxing 1976 John Naber, Swimming 1977 Eric Heiden, Speedskating 1978 Bruce Davidson, Equestrian 1979 Eric Heiden, Speedskating 1980 Eric Heiden, Speedskating 1981 Scott Hamilton, Figure Skating 1982 Greg Louganis, Diving 1983 Rick McKinney, Archery 1984 Edwin Moses, Track & Field 1985 Willie Banks, Track & Field 1986 Matt Biondi, Swimming 1987 Greg Louganis, Diving 1988 Matt Biondi, Swimming 1989 Roger Kingdom, Track & Field 1990 John Smith, Wrestling 1991 Carl Lewis, Track & Field 1992 Pablo Morales, Swimming 1993 Michael Johnson, Track & Field 1994 Dan Jansen, Speedskating 1995 Michael Johnson, Track & Field 1996 Michael Johnson, Track & Field 1997 Pete Sampras, Tennis 1998 Jonny Moseley, Skiing 1999 Lance Armstrong, Cycling 2000 Rulon Gardner, Wrestling 2001 Lance Armstrong, Cycling 2002 Lance Armstrong, Cycling 2003 Lance Armstrong, Cycling 2004 Michael Phelps, Swimming 2005 Hunter Kemper, Triathlon 2006 Joey Cheek, Speedskating 2007 Tyson Gay, Track & Field 2008 Michael Phelps, Swimming 2009 Todd Lodwick, Nordic Combined 2010 Evan Lysacek, Figure Skating 2011-12 Michael Phelps, Swimming 2013 Ted Ligety, Skiing
SportsWoman of the Year 1974 Shirley Babashoff, Swimming 1975 Kathy Heddy, Swimming 1976 Sheila Young, Speedskating 1977 Linda Fratianne, Figure Skating 1978 Tracy Caulkins, Swimming 1979 Cynthia "Sippy" Woodhead, Swimming 1980 Beth Heiden, Speedskating 1981 Sheila Young Ochowicz, Cycling/Speedskating 1982 Melanie Smith, Equestrian 1983 Tamara McKinney, Skiing 1984 Tracy Caulkins, Swimming 1985 Mary Decker Slaney, Track & Field 1986 Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Track & Field 1987 Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Track & Field 1988 Florence Griffith Joyner, Track & Field 1989 Janet Evans, Swimming 1990 Lynn Jennings, Track & Field 1991 Kim Zmeskal, Gymnastics 1992 Bonnie Blair, Speedskating 1993 Gail Devers, Track & Field 1994 Bonnie Blair, Speedskating 1995 Picabo Street, Skiing 1996 Amy Van Dyken, Swimming 1997 Tara Lipinski, Figure Skating 1998 Picabo Street, Skiing 1999 Jenny Thompson, Swimming 2000 Marion Jones, Track & Field 2001 Jennifer Capriati, Tennis 2002 Sarah Hughes, Figure Skating 2003 Michelle Kwan, Figure Skating 2004 Carly Patterson, Gymnastics 2005 Katie Hoff, Swimming 2006 Hannah Teter, Snowboarding 2007 Katie Hoff, Swimming 2008 Natalie Coughlin, Swimming and Nastia Liukin, Gymnastics 2009 Lindsey Vonn, Skiing 2010 Lindsey Vonn, Skiing 2011-12 Allyson Felix, Track & Field 2013 Katie Ledecky, Swimming