The alpine slopes of Sochi have been a mixed bag for Team USA. There has been some great success and shattering lows, but mostly unexpected results. Ted Ligety ensured the former would rule Wednesday as he captured the gold medal in the men's giant slalom.
Ligety attacked the course and stayed right on the edge of control in his first run. The slopes rewarded aggressive skiing, with most competitors choosing the conservative approach. This opened the window for a quick time, which the veteran Ligety obliged with a blistering pace of 1:21.08, almost a full second ahead of the competition.
Fellow skiers struggled in their second run. Times were slowed across the board and it quickly became a race against Steve Missillier of France, who was holding the top spot. He balanced speed and conservatism and though he didn't post any single dominant time, his reliability on both runs gave him first place for the time being.
The stage was set. Ligety was the last man in medal contention to face the mountain. Despite a run over three seconds slower than his first, the lead over Missillier allowed him to capture gold by 0.48 seconds. This is his first gold medal in giant slalom after winning the event in the World Championships in 2013 and again in 2011.
Full results for the giant slalom can be found here, but these are your top five finishers.