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Five For Friday: Alpine Skiing

By Paul D. Bowker | Oct. 21, 2016, 12:01 a.m. (ET)

Ted Ligety competes in men's giant slalom at the Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games on Feb. 19, 2014 in Rosa Khutor, Russia.

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It’s go time for Olympic champions Ted Ligety and Mikaela Shiffrin.

The 2016-17 FIS Alpine Ski World Cup season begins this weekend in Soelden, Austria, with skiing conditions that FIS officials are calling the best in 10 years.

Ligety, a five-time world cup season champion in giant slalom and the 2014 Olympic champion, is returning to world cup action for the first time since last January, when he tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee while training in Germany. In nine previous competitions in Soelden, Ligety has medaled seven times.

The women’s giant slalom is Saturday, followed by the men’s giant slalom on Sunday.

Shiffrin, who is typically known for her slalom prowess with one Olympic and two world championship titles in the event, is a favorite in the Soelden giant slalom. She placed second last year on this course and tied for first in 2014.

Other U.S. skiers in the men’s race are 2014 Olympians David Chodounsky and Tim Jitloff, plus Kieffer Christianson, Ryan Cochran-Siegle, 2010 Olympian Tommy Ford and Brennan Rubie.

Megan McJames is entered in the women’s race with Shiffrin.

TV: 3 p.m. ET Saturday, Universal HD; 9:30 p.m. Sunday, NBC Sports Network

Webcast: 4 a.m. Saturday and Sunday, NBC Sports app

Paul D. Bowker is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.