KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia – Hold the phone on the withering results of the U.S. men's Alpine team at the Sochi Games.
After finishing the downhill and super combined without a medal, the Americans rebounded in a big way in the super-G, with a silver from Andrew Weibrecht and bronze from Bode Miller. Weibrecht's thundering finish and silver medal was somewhat of a stunner, despite him being a bronze medalist in the event in the 2010 Vancouver Games. He finished .30 second behind a flawless gold medal run by Norway's Kjetil Jansrud. Miller tied for bronze with Canada's Jan Hudec, both coming in .53 off the lead.
Miller, 36, became the first U.S. skier to medal in three different Winter Games and the oldest Alpine skier to win an Olympic medal.
Miller held the top spot from his starting position of 13th, until Jansrud had a near-perfect ski eight spots later to take over gold position, and Hudec tied Miller one spot later. But it was Weibrecht who unexpectedly electrified the crowd, pushing off from 29th position – well after most of the race favorites had already failed to take over Jansrud, Hudec and Miller.
Known affectionately as "War Horse" for his attacking style, Weibrecht was .20 ahead of Jansrud after the first three splits, before a sluggish bottom pulled him back to second place.
As for Miller, he continued to produce medals as expectations fade. A silver medalist in the super-G in the Vancouver Games, Miller failed to hit the podium in the downhill despite being a favorite going into the event. He finished the downhill eighth, then followed it up with a solid sixth in the super combined.
But as in Vancouver, he proved to be a big-stage racer in the super-G, pulling out another medal in an event that hasn't seen him field a top 10 World Cup ranking since 2008. And on snow that once again wasn't considered ideal.
"I made mistakes and the snow is really difficult," Miller said. "It just peels away from you. I tried to build pressure on the first couple turns but it's really steep there. Coming off the first pitch I thought I was in good shape but the snow is so soft on the flat part of the last part."
It wasn't all positive for the U.S., however, with 2013 super-G world champion Ted Ligety finishing a disappointing 14th. American Travis Ganong finished 23rd.
- Sports & Recreation
- Bode Miller
- Andrew Weibrecht
- Kjetil Jansrud