Skier Ted Ligety goes to extremes on the slopes

By Pat Graham

Associated Press

Published: Thursday, May 17 2012 7:27 p.m. MDT

He had plenty of company, too, as a bunch of the U.S. Ski Team members slipped in some late spring training runs. Junior world champion Ryan Cochran-Siegle was in attendance and so was Steven Nyman, who's returning to the slopes after missing last season with a torn Achilles.

On the women's side, Stacey Cook, Leanne Smith, Mikaela Shiffrin and Laurenne Ross were among the skiers who tried out a course that was specially designed by speed coach Chip White.

"We're trying to simulate those situations to where we become better at it as a team," said White, who was recently named the U.S. Ski Team's top coach as well as the international Alpine coach of the year. "Hopefully, the results show because of it."

White and his squad are coming off a sensational season in which the women won the downhill standings by a whopping 636 points over Austria. Not only that, but Lindsey Vonn recaptured the overall title and nearly reached the 2,000-point plateau, while Julia Mancuso finished in the top five.

"A tough act to follow," White said. "We're going to do everything we can to put pressure on the rest of the world, because we know they're coming after us."

As for Vonn, White thinks she could eclipse 2,000 points.

"Very achievable for someone of her caliber," he said. "She's proven she is No. 1 in the world and that there's no doubt about it, either."

Ligety is trying to get back to that level as well, where he's No. 1 in the GS again — without a doubt.

"Marcel had an unreal season," Ligety said. "It definitely gives me motivation."

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