A super-giant upset at Sochi Olympics for U.S. skier Andrew Weibrecht

Andrew Weibrecht, never better than 10th on World Cup circuit, nabs silver medal in super G, and Bode Miller shares bronze. Norway's Kjetil Jansrud gets gold.


SOCHI, Russia — The only thing not completely stupefying about Sunday's men's Olympic super giant slalom was that Norway won.

Kjetil Jansrud became the fourth straight Norwegian to claim the super-G gold, so just go ahead and pencil in a Kjetil, Aksel or Lasse for 2018.

Everything else about Sunday's result was pulled out of a magician's hat.

America's Andrew Weibrecht, four years after stunningly taking super-G bronze in Vancouver, and having done absolutely nothing since, stole silver from his back-of-the-snowpack No. 29 start position.

For a racer nicknamed "The War Horse," skiing so late on a rutted-over track was like having 20 pounds added to your saddle at Santa Anita.

Weibrecht's parents, Ed and Lisa, did not make the trip to Sochi. "I told them not to," he said.

Why travel all the way from Lake Placid, N.Y., to see an old "horse" break down again?

Weibrecht had face-planted his slalom run in Friday's super combined and said he considered retirement "as recently as yesterday."

He is only 28 but has had more body work done than a rent-a-wreck.

Weibrecht nearly lost funding from the U.S. Ski Team and might not have been named to the Olympic team had Thomas Biesemeyer not broken his leg.

Jansrud had wrapped up gold and was resting comfortably in the finish area after posting his unassailable winning time of 1 minute 18.14 seconds. Bode Miller and Canada's Jan Hudec also watched as they contemplated how strange it was going to be sharing the silver with the exact same time of 1:18.67.

Miller and Hudec instead shared bronze because Weibrecht pushed out and pointed his skis straight downhill in his usual (reckless) style. He's the guy teammate Ted Ligety said was the world's fastest skier for 20 seconds until he crashed into the safety nets.

Weibrecht, on cue, had the fastest first interval. But he didn't crash, and kept charging.

Jansrud suddenly stopped visualizing where he was going to hang his gold medal back in Stavanger. "My legs were a little jelly there for a second," he confessed.

Only Jansrud's brilliant finish at the bottom of the course, where he beat Weibrecht by half a second, saved an emergency call to the engraver.

Weibrecht's time of 1:18.44 put him .30 back of the winner.

Miller and Hudec won bronze and some much-needed glory for their countries. Hudec's Olympic medal was Canada's first in Alpine since Ed Podivinsky finished third in downhill in 1994.

Miller's sixth Alpine medal moved him to the upper crust of Olympic history. He now has one gold medal, three silver and two bronze. Only Norway's Kjetil Andre Aamodt, with eight medals, has more hardware among men.

Miller, 36, also became the oldest Alpine athlete to medal in the Olympics. "I feel old," he joked.

Miller was unusually emotional, in contrast to the clinical way he usual dissects a ski race.


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