PYEONGCHANG, South Korea (Reuters) - Two-time Olympic gold medalist Ted Ligety has said he is unlikely to compete in any of the remaining races in Pyeongchang following a disappointing showing in Sunday’s giant slalom.
“This is probably it for me (at) these Games,” the 33-year-old defending giant slalom gold medalist from Sochi told reporters after his 15th-place finish at the Yongpyong Alpine Centre.
“I was thinking about doing the slalom but we tried to figure out where I’d start and it would be in the 70s or 80s, which is really far out to have a chance to have a good run at it,” he said.
“I’ll probably just head back to Europe now and get ready for the rest of the World Cups.”
Ligety put in a strong showing in last week’s Alpine combined, where he finished fifth in the event he won in Turin in 2006, but was unable to carry that momentum into Sunday’s race.
“Tough day at the office,” he said. “I just didn’t have the speed in me today. It’s an unfortunate day to have a bad day.”
The Utah native could only tip his hat to Austria’s Marcel Hirscher, who picked up his second gold of the Games with victory in the giant slalom.
“You see him race after race being on point and that’s pretty phenomenal in a sport like this where not everybody is on point every single day and he always is able to bring out those best performances,” he said.
U.S. team coach Sasha Rearick said he was “super proud” of the way Ligety had battled back from a two-year hiatus just to get to the Games.
“We need to go back and evaluate where did we lose that last little edge because he had it a day ago and was skiing fantastically,” he said.
“We did not bring our best today and we need to evaluate that so we can learn for the future.”
Rearick said he hoped Ligety would continue to compete as he had “plenty of gas left in the tank” but thought whatever decision he made his legacy was assured.
“Ted has accomplished amazing things, no athlete has won three golds at a championship event, no athlete has won at three world championships in a row,” he said.
“It is unbelievable that he was able to stay at the top for so long and today-wise it was disappointing because we knew there was a chance that he could get close.”
Additional reporting by Nick Mulvenney; Editing by Amlan Chakraborty/John O’Brien
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