Specialist? What specialist? Ligety wins super-combined
SCHLADMING, Austria – Ted Ligety no longer is just a giant slalom specialist. By winning gold medals in super-G and super-combined at the world championships, the American has shown he’s an all-around threat with the 2014 Sochi Olympics exactly a year away.
Ligety added the super-combi title to his expanding resume Monday with a superb downhill and an equally impressive night slalom run under the lights on the icy Planai course.
Next up: defending his 2011 title in Friday’s giant slalom – the event in which he’s won four of five World Cup races this season.
“I never wanted to be a specialist. I’ve always tried so hard in my career to be a multi-event skier,” Ligety said. “To have three world championships in three different events is pretty surreal – that’s a cool feeling.”
Sitting sixth after the downhill run, Ligety clocked a two-run combined time of 2 minutes, 56.96 seconds. Ivica Kostelic of Croatia finished second, a distant 1.15 seconds behind, and Romed Baumann of host Austria took the bronze medal, 1.17 back, after leading the downhill leg.
Ligety won the combined in the old format with two slalom runs at the 2006 Turin Olympics, but he never had finished on the podium before in a super-combined, which has only one slalom leg.
The Park City, Utah, native had a super-combi podium finish in sight in Wengen, Switzerland, last month until his right ski slipped free two-thirds down his slalom run. And in the traditional combined in Kitzbuehel a few weeks ago, he missed a gate early in his first slalom run.
Colorado State ranked for first time since 1954
The buzz in the Colorado State locker room was all about the basketball polls Monday – and that was even before the Rams learned they had cracked the rankings for the first time since 1954.
The Rams are 24th in both The Associated Press men’s basketball poll and the USA Today poll, their first foray into the rankings since March of 1954 – 20 months before Colorado State coach Larry Eustachy was born.
By the way, Miami, the object of the Rams’ early morning curiosity, rose to No. 3 in the rankings, behind only No. 1 Indiana and No. 2 Duke after a succession of impressive wins and losses by highly ranked teams.
The Rams (19-4, 6-2 Mountain West) face preseason favorite San Diego State (18-5, 6-3) Wednesday night at Moby Arena, where they’ve won 26 consecutive games.
Only Syracuse (37) and South Dakota State (27) boast longer home winning streaks.
Vick restructures last year of his deal with Philadelphia
PHILADELPHIA – Quarterback Michael Vick, who was slated to earn $16 million next season, has agreed to a restructured deal with the Philadelphia Eagles.
Vick, who was injured and inconsistent last season, eventually giving way to rookie Nick Foles, now has a three-year contract, and will compete with Foles over the next nine months to see who runs new coach Chip Kelly’s offense this season.
Vick finished the season with 2,362 yards passing, 12 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. The Eagles finished 4-12 and in last place in the NFC East.
Bobsled, skeleton athletes displeased with ice care
Bobsled and skeleton athletes from the U.S and other nations are upset over ice conditions at the track that will be used for Sochi Olympics, saying it’s impairing their ability to get ready for this weekend’s World Cup finale and prepare for the 2014 Games.
The issue is not about speed, safety or design – everyone’s satisfied with those elements – but rather, how the ice is being maintained. In simplest terms, many sliders are alleging that when they have access to the track, the ice is not being tended to properly, and that has led to some bumpy rides down the chute.