Friday, December 27, 2013

Ligety earns early holiday gift in Italy

Winner of Alpine Rockfest

     Ted Ligety, 29, of Park City, Utah put a little something in his own Christmas stocking Monday, Dec. 23 after banking a 75,000 Euro victory in the winner-take-all fourth annual Alpine Rockfest exhibition held at Paganella Ski Area in Italy.

     Ligety also won Alpine Rockfest in 2011. The event brought together 15 of the best giant slalom skiers in the world, including Bode Miller (Franconia, NH) and Tim JItloff (Reno, NV), to compete on a pro-style track through three elimination rounds.

     Miller had the fastest qualification time in the Round of 15 but was bumped out of the contest just before the final round after hooking up his inside ski on the lower part of the short course. Jitloff was knocked out during the tight initial qualifying round of 15.

     The 75,000 Euros equals about $102,630 in U.S. dollars.

     Ligety said, “Oh man, that’s an awesome Christmas present, that’s for sure. You know, for what the weather was the hill was awesome, it was a lot of fun to ski it. I felt like especially in that final I put together a pretty good run in order to beat these guys. So I’m really happy I could do that.”

     Organizers said that the aim of the Alpine Rockfest is to combine sport with entertainment in a vivacious and lively atmosphere and thus draw worldwide attention to winter sports.

     The festival was an innovation of former U.S. Men’s Ski Team Head Coach Phil McNichol and Italian entrepreneur Marco Dallapiccola, and first took place in 2009.

     Cyprien Richard of France won the inaugural race in 2009. Ligety also claimed the prize in 2011 and Davide Simoncelli of Italy in 2012.

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