Bode Miller is out. Ted Ligety is in.
In a stunning Alpine victory, Ligety, a Salt Lake City native, won the gold medal in the men’s combined downhill after world champion Benjamin Raich skied off the course. Miller, 28, whose mission was to be the first skier to win five medals at a single Olympics, was disqualified for straddling a gate in the first run.
Ligety, 21, is the first U.S. men’s skier to win an Olympic gold since 1994. He had a combined time of 3 minutes, 9.35 seconds, for the downhill and two slalom runs.
As for Miller’s disqualification, “I came down and the run felt fine,” he said, according to the Associated Press. “I had no idea I had straddled. … I was in the recovery room already getting ready for the second run when I heard it on the radio and I looked at the replay.”
U.S. Alpine director Jesse Hunt said the team wouldn’t protest the disqualification. “We looked at it enough times. We’re satisfied.”
Meanwhile, Ligety’s advantage came during his final slalom run, and his lead held as the last two racers, Raich of Austria and Ivica Kostelic of Croatia, couldn’t top his time.
Kostelic took the silver 0.53 seconds behind Ligety, while Austria’s Rainer Schoenfelder took the bronze.
The last American man to win gold in downhill was Tommy Moe in 1994.