ALPINE SKIING - Austria’s Marcel Hirscher and American Ted Ligety will resume their giant slalom rivalry when the 2012/13 alpine skiing World Cup season begins in Sölden, Austria, this Sunday.
> The last nine World Cup giant slalom races have been won by just three skiers: Marcel Hirscher (AUT, 4), Ted Ligety (USA, 3) and Massimiliano Blardone (ITA, 2).
> Hirscher (2011/12) and Ligety (2007/08, 2009/10, 2010/11) have won four of the last five World Cup giant slalom crystal globes between them.
> Hirscher has made the podium in each of his last five World Cup giant slalom races, picking up three wins, one second and one third.
> Hirscher has not fared well in Sölden in the past, finishing sixth (2011) and 14th (2009) in his only two previous World Cup appearances (both giant slalom).
> The last six World Cup giant slalom races in Sölden have been won by six different skiers.
> Ligety won last year’s giant slalom in Sölden and with another victory this year he would join teammate Bode Miller (2) and Austrian legend Hermann Maier (3) as the only male skiers with multiple World Cup GS wins in Sölden.
> Ligety can be the first skier in either gender to make five World Cup giant slalom podiums in Sölden. He currently shares the record of four with Stephan Eberharter (AUT) and Anja Pärson (SWE).
> Ligety can win his 12th career World Cup giant slalom race, which would take him past Gustav Thöni (ITA) into sole possession of sixth place on the all-time men’s list.
> Benni Raich (AUT) can win his 15th career World Cup giant slalom race, which would bring him level with Italian legend Alberto Tomba for third place all-time, behind only Ingemar Stenmark (SWE, 46 victories) and Michael von Grünigen (SUI, 23).
> Austrians have won exactly one-third of men’s World Cup giant slalom races held in Austria (13/39, 33.3%), a much higher success rate than outside Austria (73/318, 23.0%).