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Ted Ligety To Miss Final Race of His Career Due to Back Injury

The two-time Olympic Champion who planned to retire after a final appearance at the World Championships will have to skip his farewell race.

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On Feb. 9 two-time Olympic Champion Ted Ligety announced that he would be ending his 17-year racing career after a final appearance at the 2021 World Championships in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy. But on Feb. 13 Ligety announced that he would be skipping his farewell race in Cortina due to a lingering back issue that made it impossible to race a final giant slalom.

“Yesterday, I woke up to the worst sciatic pain of my life,” Ligety posted to Instagram. “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. An MRI revealed my discs at L4-5 and L5-S1 are herniated to the point it’s not safe to ski right now.”

“I was excited to race one last time then retire on my own terms,” Ligety continued. “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.”

Having already traveled to Cortina for the World Championships, Ligety is now making his way back to the U.S. to recover at home in Utah with his wife and three young sons.

Related: Ted Ligety Announces Retirement After Storied 17-Year Racing Career