PYEONGCHANG, South Korea — At 18, Ted Ligety thought about giving up ski racing so he could study engineering in college. No one, most especially the coaches of the United States ski team, tried to talk him out of it.
But Ligety spurned college, and three years later he was at the 2006 Turin Olympics.
After one run at the Alpine combined, he was 32nd behind the race leader, Bode Miller. In the second stage, which was two runs of slalom, Ligety tugged on his hot pink gloves and placed his hot pink goggles over his eyes before shocking the ski racing community with a comeback that won the gold medal.
Twelve years later at the Pyeongchang Games, Ligety, now 33, was again far behind at the halfway mark of what will probably be his last Olympic race, the giant slalom. This time, he was the defending champion, but there was no magical rally.
Ligety on Sunday finished in a tie for 15th, more than three seconds behind Marcel Hirscher of Austria, who won his second Alpine gold medal here in Pyeongchang.