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Insider knowledge gives me an edge, says Ligety

By Martyn Herman ROSA KHUTOR, Russia (Reuters) - Triple world champion Ted Ligety was late joining the Sochi Olympic party but armed with a little local knowledge and some Russian goodwill he looks set to make up for lost time. The U.S. ski team have struck an unlikely relationship with their Russian counterparts, so Ligety, despite only venturing to the Rose Khutor piste for the first time on Tuesday, is already one step ahead of his rivals.

Olympics: Confident Ligety to rebound from 2010 failure

American star Ted Ligety has credited his disappointing performance at the 2010 Vancouver Games with positively changing his mental approach towards ski racing. Ligety shot to prominence when he won the super-combined gold medal at the 2006 Turin Games as a 21-year-old rookie. But it didn't carry through to the slopes of Whistler four years back when he finished ninth in his favoured discipline of giant slalom, an event he has truly dominated on the World Cup stage, and fifth in the super-combined.

Olympics: Ligety, Miller lead US ski charge in Sochi

Four-time world champion and Olympic gold medallist Ted Ligety and veteran Bode Miller will lead the US men's medal charge in the alpine skiing at the Sochi Olympics. But Ligety and Miller will not have it all their own way, up against the likes of slalom specialist Marcel Hirscher and Aksel Lund Svindal, the latter seeking to cement his status as one of the sport's best ever male skiers. Ligety was the star of last year's World Ski Championships, claiming three gold medals in the giant slalom, super-G and super-combined.

Alpine skiing: Ligety wins Giant slalom

America's two-time giant slalom world champion Ted Ligety won the final World Cup race in the discipline before the Winter Olympics on Sunday in the Swiss resort of St Moritz. The 29-year-old -- four time World Cup giant slalom series champion -- timed 2min 38.75sec to beat Austrian ace Marcel Hirscher with Frenchman Alexis Pinturault third. Norwegian Aksel Lund Svindal failed to finish and also lost his lead in the overall World Cup standings as Hirscher's runners-up spot saw him overturn the deficit and take a 58 point lead.

Alpine skiing: Ligety wins Giant slalom

America's two-time giant slalom world champion Ted Ligety won the final World Cup race in the discipline before the Winter Olympics on Sunday in the Swiss resort of St Moritz. The 29-year-old -- four time World Cup giant slalom series champion -- timed 2min 38.75sec to beat Austrian ace Marcel Hirscher with Frenchman Alexis Pinturault third. Norwegian Aksel Lund Svindal failed to finish but maintained his lead atop the overall World Cup standings although Hirscher's runner-up spot saw him narrow the gap.

Ligety chasing gold eight years after first success

By Philip O'Connor STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - American alpine skier Ted Ligety's form curve looks to be peaking at just the right time for Sochi, eight years after he won his first gold medal. The 29-year-old is one of the early favorites for gold in the giant slalom and victory in a World Cup super-combined event at Switzerland in mid-January puts him in contention there too.

Alpine skiing: Ligety 'rounds corner' in bid for three Sochi medals

American Ted Ligety said he had "rounded the corner" with his World Cup super-combined victory on Friday, setting him on course for his three-medal target at the Sochi Olympics. A strong start to the season had tailed off with a raft of unfinished races due to what Ligety dubbed "horrible, horrible luck". But the 29-year-old, a four-time World Cup giant slalom champion who took last year's World Ski Championships by storm with a three-gold showing, never doubted he was skiing well, and importantly, fast.

Alpine skiing: All-rounder Ligety gives Wengen masterclass

All-rounder Ted Ligety put in a decisive downhill performance to clinch victory in the men's super-combined in Wengen on Friday, the American's third World Cup win of the season. Ligety, the 2006 Olympic and 2013 world gold medallist in the discipline, clocked a combined total of 2min 44.74sec over a slalom and downhill, their running order reversed because of intermittent morning snow. France's Alexis Pinturault, who topped the standings after the slalom leg, came second at 0.22sec, with Croatia's Natko Zrnic-Dim in third (+1.08sec).

Alpine skiing: Ligety turns technical ahead of Sochi

American Ted Ligety will skip the downhill in Kitzbuehel next weekend as he focuses his race programme on the technical events ahead of the Winter Olympics in Sochi. Only a fool would rule out experienced duo Bode Miller or Julia Mancuso, making fifth and fourth Olympic appearances respectively, from making a podium in Russia, having already snared eight Olympic medals between them.

Alpine skiing: Ligety wins World Cup giant slalom

American Ted Ligety cruised to victory in the men's giant slalom Sunday after setting a blistering pace in the first run that left him more than a second ahead of field. Ligety won in a combined time of two minutes, 35.77 seconds to beat out fellow American Bode Miller (2:37.09) and Marcel Hirscher, of Austria, who finished third in 2:37.59. gph/ea
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