Ted Ligety Earns 1st Men's Giant Slalom Gold for USA

Bleacher Report MilestonesB/R StaffFebruary 19, 2014

SOCHI, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 19: (FRANCE OUT) Ted Ligety of the USA wins the gold medal during the Alpine Skiing Men's Giant Slalom at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games at Rosa Khutor Alpine Centre on February 19, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. (Photo by Christophe Pallot/Agence Zoom/Getty Images)
Christophe Pallot/Agence Zoom/Getty Images

Though his second run in Wednesday's giant slalom competition at the Sochi Olympics led to a time of 1 minute and 24.21 seconds and a 14th-place mark, Ted Ligety—who had turned in a stellar 1:21.08 time in his opening run—still became the first American man to win Olympic gold in the event, with a total time of 2:45.29.

Ligety's margin of victory in Wednesday's event—in which he was viewed as the favorite—was 0.48 seconds over silver medalist Steve Missillier of France and 0.64 ahead of bronze medalist Alexis Pinturault, also of France.

In the process, the 29-year-old Ligety also became just the second American Alpine skier to earn two Olympic gold medals. His first came during the 2006 Winter Games in Turin, when he triumphed in the men's super combined event. Andrea Mead-Lawrence previously accomplished the feat by winning both the slalom and giant slalom events in the 1952 Oslo Winter Games.

Meanwhile, American skiers who have one Olympic gold medal to their credit are Phil Mahre, Bill Johnson, Picabo Street, Bode Miller, Lindsey Vonn and Julia Mancuso.

Ligety's satisfying win Wednesday came after he turned in a 12th-place finish in the super combined event at Sochi and a 14th-place showing in the super-G competition.