US Skier Ted Ligety On Sochi & His Love Of Kale Smoothies

There's no bigger name in American skiing right now than Ted Ligety. After coming out of nowhere to win a gold medal in the 2006 Torino Winter Olympics, Ligety won four World Cup championships in the giant slalom, to add to countless other accolades. Now, he's one of Team USA's best shots to take home several pieces of hardware in Sochi.

Ligety spoke with MindBodyGreen over email before he headed to Russia, sharing with us his focus on the future and his love for the Vitamix!

MBG: What's your training been like leading up to Sochi?

TL: I have been competing in World Cup races every weekend starting in December. When it is not a race day, we train on snow in the morning and then do a dryland activity in the afternoon, either spinning, lifting (pending the timing until the next race) or play a game like basketball, tennis or soccer.

What do you make of the International Ski Federation's recent rule changes?

They changed the radius of the skis 2 years ago, so I have had some time to adjust. I am still very much against the rule and especially how it came about. The athletes had no say, FIS’s research is very flimsy, and it is a corruptible rule in that it picks winners and losers. It has worked out well for me, but some other have seen their career hurt. I am also worried about the future of the sport and the impact the changes have on the younger generations of ski racers.

Do you have any special foods you like to eat before competing?

I always have a solid breakfast before competition, which is really important to start the day.

Do you ever practice meditation or visualization?

After we inspect the racecourse I visualize the course and the hill.

Favorite guilty indulgence?


Anyone you want to meet at Sochi?

I’ve met or know a lot of the athletes and met Putin and Medvedev before, I think Billie Jean King will be there so it would be cool to meet her.

Any plans to explore Russia afterward?

After the Olympics, we go straight back into the World Cup season for another month. I am still working to get back the World Cup GS title, so once the Olympics are over I will focus on that again.

We’re a wellness website so we have to ask: green juice or green smoothie?

Green smoothie! I actually got a Vitamix this summer and drank a lot of kale shakes with bananas, orange juice and almond milk.

And of course: Have you tried yoga? What did you think?

I’ve dabbled a bit in yoga but don’t have much experience. My off-season training is so packed with strength and cardio sessions I have not had time to incorporate much yoga.

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