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World Cup skiing: Park City’s Ted Ligety set to undergo season-ending back surgery

First Published      Last Updated Jan 16 2017 08:53 pm

The injury bug just won't let loose of Ted Ligety.

The two-time Olympic gold medalist alpine skier from Park City took to his Facebook page Monday night to announce that yet another World Cup season was ending prematurely due to injury.

Ligety, 32, posted a photo of himself riding a chair lift for "one last powder day" before going under the knife. The three-time defending giant slalom world champion wrote he will undergo back surgery in hopes of stabilizing an ongoing pain issue.

Ligety said he has been dealing with what he described as severe nerve pain down his left leg that has hampered his ability to ski to the best of his abilities.




"This has been been tough to accept especially after last season, but on the plus side hopefully this surgery will alleviate the back issues I have dealt with over the last few years," he wrote. "I will be back strong and fast again. Thanks for your support."

He concluded the post with a hashtag: "illbeback."

Since his gold medal in the GS at the Sochi Games in 2014, Ligety has dealt with setback after setback. After working his way back from three herniated disks and a torn hip labrum in 2015, Ligety suffered a season-ending ACL tear in his right knee in a training run in Germany last January. That came after winning a World Cup gold early in the 2015-16 World Cup circuit and battling through that back and hip pain to win a silver at the super-G in Beaver Creek, Colo., a few weeks later.

According to NBC OlympicTalk, Ligety's current World Cup GS podium drought is the longest since his first top-three finish in 2006. Dating back to last season, Ligety has finished fourth, fifth, 11th and failed to finish a GS race four times.

The 2018 Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea, sit 13 months away. If he is able to recover and qualify for the 2018 Games, they'd be Ligety's fourth in a storied alpine career that features two Olympic gold medals, seven World Championship medals and 51 career World Cup podiums.

ckamrani@sltrib.com

Twitter: @chriskamrani

 

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