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Ted Ligety favored at Olympic ski season kickoff

Ligety looks to expand his dominance, Bode is back, and Hirscher and Svindal are in form, too

Ted Ligety favored at Olympic ski season kickoff

SOELDEN, Austria (AP) -- Ted Ligety will be the overwhelming favorite when the Olympic ski season opens on Sunday with a World Cup giant slalom on Rettenbach glacier.

The American has won this race for the past two years and finished on the podium for the past five.

A year ago, Ligety didn't just win here, he dominated with a massive victory margin of 2.75 seconds. Taking advantage of extensive preparation on newly shaped skis introduced last season, he went on to win six of eight giant slaloms on the circuit.

Ligety says "I hope to come close to that. But people have figured out the skis by now and I can't really expect to win GS by those kind of margins."