Olympic and world giant slalom champion Ted Ligety flew past a gate in a training session Wednesday, when he suddenly spun around and landed hard on his side.
Ligety used Facebook and Instagram to reveal he tore the ACL in his right knee during his training mishap in Oberjoch, Germany. The 31-year-old from Utah also posted video of the wipeout, along with the hash tags "bummerdude," ''lamecrash," and "Illbeback."
"We all know ski racing is a dangerous sport but I always thought I could avoid a season ender," Ligety wrote.
The U.S. Ski Team said in a release only that Ligety suffered a knee injury and will head home to be evaluated by medical director Kyle Wilkens.
It's been a rocky, injury-plagued season for Ligety, who's dealt with back and hip ailments. He was sixth in the GS standings — a discipline he usually dominates. Ligety's only podium finish in the GS this season was a win at Soelden, Austria, three months ago. He also took second in the super-G at Beaver Creek, Colorado, in December.
Another big-name American on the sideline.
In December, Olympic and world slalom champion Mikaela Shiffrin tore the medial collateral ligament in her right knee during a wipeout while preparing for a race in Are, Sweden. Recently, Shiffrin posted on Facebook a video of her jumping off the ground and onto a padded box, with the line: "Now that I'm allowed to jump.. I will be jumping EVERYWHERE."
Last weekend, several high-profile ski racers were hurt in a race at Kitzbuehel, Austria. Overall leader Aksel Lund Svindal of Norway and Georg Streitberger of Austria crashed at the same spot and both needed knee surgery, ruling them both out for the season. Austrian skier Hannes Reichelt also wiped out in that race, but is planning to compete in a World Cup downhill on Saturday after sustaining bruises and a mild concussion.
Over the years, Ligety has picked up quite a bit of hardware: Two Olympic gold medals, five world titles, including three at the 2013 championships, and five overall World Cup giant slalom crowns.
Married in July, Ligety was asked how much longer he expects to race.
"I still plan on going for a lot longer. I still like it," Ligety said. "As hard as I say it is living out of a duffel bag, I still love what I'm doing. Still better than the alternative. I'm good at it. I like it. I make a good living at it, all these things.
"Why would I stop when I'm still into it? I still plan on going for a lot longer. How long do you go? Tom Brady said, 'until I suck.' That's a good way to think of it in some ways."