For Ted Ligety, the most rewarding part of life isn’t on the slopes, but being a dad.
The four-time Olympic alpine skier — who took home gold in the giant slalom event at the 2014 Winter Olympics and placed 15th this year in PyeongChang, South Korea — recently sat down with PEOPLE’s Celeb Parents Get Real to talk about his life at home with wife Mia Pascoe and their 7-month-old son Jax.
“Every time I can make him laugh,” says Ligety, 33, when asked about his proudest parenting moment. “It’s fun watching him get these little skills every day and smile and it’s fun when they giggle … that’s pretty special.”
Want all the latest pregnancy and birth announcements, plus celebrity mom blogs? Click here to get those and more in the PEOPLE Babies newsletter.
Ligety admits that while Jax resembles both his parents when they were his age, his personality is quite different from theirs.
“Both myself and my wife were horrible babies, our parents tell us — he’s like neither of us in that regard because he’s smiling,” says the athlete, adding with a laugh, “So far we have a good little boy that doesn’t resemble baby Ted or baby Mia.”
Two lessons Ligety took from his own parents that he cherishes greatly? “Independence and work ethic,” which he carries with him today and plans to pass on to his son.
“My parents never pushed me to be a ski racer, they pushed me to have good grades and not be a brat, but otherwise they really wanted my brother and I to follow our dreams and take ownership in what we did,” he says.
“My greatest wish for Jax is that when he finds something he loves and pursues it, he can be as successful as he wants to be in it,” adds the new dad.