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Ted Ligety wins first U.S. gold in giant slalom

Sochi Olympics Alpine Skiing Men

United States’ Ted Ligety waves from the finish area after completing the first run of the men’s giant slalom at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014, in Krasnaya Polyana, Russia. (AP Photo/Gero Breloer)

Gero Breloer

Ted Ligety became the first U.S. Alpine skier to win gold in the giant slalom on Wednesday with a total time of 2:45.29. The 29-year-old is the second United States skier to win any medal at all in the event, as Bode Miller took silver in 2002.

Maybe more impressively, Ligety is the first U.S. Alpine skier to win gold in two events.

Speaking of Miller, he came into his second run dealing with knee pain, but decided to go for it anyway. He finished with a time of 2:47.82, about two-and-a-half seconds slower than Ligety.

France’s Steve Missillier and Alexis Pinturault took silver and bronze respectively.

This is Ligety’s second Olympic medal. Both have been gold medals, as he also took the top prize in men’s combined back in 2006. This gold must be sweet redemption after his disappointing results in Vancouver.

He came into this event as a strong favorite and made little doubt about his dominance. As of this writing, he’s almost a half second faster than any competitor.

Ligety may also find the podium in the slalom on Feb. 22. Either way, he’ll leave Sochi with at least one outstanding achievement in a time when many favorites struggled.

Follow James O’Brien @cyclelikesedins