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Ted Ligety speaking to reporters

Olympic Skier Ted Ligety Details Painful Career-Ending Back Injury

By Gary Trock

Olympic gold medal skier, Ted Ligety, is officially announcing his retirement and ending his bid for another shot at Olympic glory. 36-year-old Ligety made the difficult decision to hang up his skis earlier this week in an announcement that sparked an avalanche of support and love for the famous Alpine skier, who is best known for winning gold at both the 2006 and 2014 winter Olympics. On Saturday, Ligety took to Instagram and revealed the medical reasons behind his decision to retire, and by the looks of his X-Ray, things are not great.


X-Ray of back injury
Ted Ligety / Instagram

"Can’t make this $h!+ up. Ligety Out!" the slalom star wrote to his near 300,000 Instagram fans on Saturday morning.

He continued, "I was excited to race one last time then retire on my own terms. To dig deep, throw down and see what would be possible. Perhaps conjure up some 'vintage Ligety.' Unfortunately it was not to be, my back said I’m the boss and you are finished now."

Ligety, who is known as one of the greatest giant slalom skiers of all time, went on to detail how his crippling back pain finally ended his competitive career for good.

The Worst Pain of His Life

Ted Ligety skiing down hill

"Yesterday, I woke up to the worst sciatic pain of my life. I can’t point to anything that triggered it but I had been experiencing low grade sciatica for a week or two which was 'normal' for me on occasion for the last several years, Ted Ligety explained

He added that an MRI revealed multiple discs to be herniated, "to the point it’s not safe to ski right now."

Ligety said that surgeries on his back throughout the years have never left him feeling 100%, and now he needs to focus on healing.

Focusing On Family

Giphy | NBC Olympics

"Now it’s time to get my back healthy to support a lifetime of playing and skiing with my kids," the Olympic husband and father of three children wrote on social media.

Some of Ted Ligety's Olympic are reaching out and offering support to the star, including fellow championship skier, Lindsey Vonn.

Dipping into Ligety's comments, Vonn wrote, "Oh no!!! I’m so sorry Ted! 😭 wishing you a speedy recovery! You’ll need a strong back to ski with your kids."

The official account for the Team USA Ski Team also sent love for the skier.

Get well soon, Ted!

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