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Weibrecht is in!
January 26, 2014 - Chris Knight
Andrew Weibreicht of Lake Placid was named today to the U.S. alpine ski team that will compete in the Winter Olympics in Sochi.
The news, announced this afternoon in Park City, Utah, ends weeks of speculation about whether Weibrecht would make it or not. He won a bronze medal in super-G at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, but he's battled injuries to both ankles and both shoulders since then.
It's worth mentioning that a few weeks back we were hoping to see another local named to the alpine team, Tommy Biesemeyer of Keene. Unfortunately, his Olympic aspirations were shot in December when he suffered a severe knee injury during a training run in Lake Louise.
Weibrecht is the eighth local athlete to be nominated to this year's Olympic team. The others are biathletes Lowell Bailey of Lake Placid, Tim Burke of Paul Smiths and Annelies Cook of Saranac Lake; Bill Demong of Vermontville in Nordic combined; Chris Mazdzer of Saranac Lake in luge; Peter Frenette of Saranac Lake in ski jumping; and bobsled driver Jamie Greubel of Lake Placid.
I'm trying to set up an interview with Weibrecht in time for tomorrow's paper, through none other than U.S. Ski Team press officer Doug Haney of Saranac Lake (incidentally whose oldest daughter we babysat today), so be sure to check the Enterprise in print and online tomorrow.
In the meantime, here's the official press release today from the U.S. Ski Team:
PARK CITY, UT (Jan. 26) - The U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association Sunday nominated 20 athletes to the U.S. Olympic Alpine Ski Team that will compete in Sochi next month. The team is highlighted by Olympic gold medalists Bode Miller (Franconia, NH), Ted Ligety (Park City, UT), Julia Mancuso (Squaw Valley, CA) and World Champion Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, CO). The United States Olympic Committee will formally name the 2014 U.S. Olympic Team on January 27.
HIGHLIGHTS •A total of 20 alpine athletes have been nominated by the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association to the 2014 U.S. Olympic Team. •Olympic gold medalists Bode Miller (Franconia, NH), Ted Ligety (Park City, UT), Julia Mancuso (Squaw Valley, CA) and World Champion Mikaela Shiffrin (Eagle-Vail, CO) headline the team. •Miller is five-time Olympic medalist, including winning gold, silver and bronze in 2010. Sochi will be his fifth Olympic Winter Games. •Mancuso is a double Olympic silver medalist, earning both in 2010, and the 2006 gold medalist for giant slalom. •Ligety, 2006 Olympic combined champion, won a historic three gold medals at the 2013 World Championships to become the first male athlete to do so since 1968. •Shiffrin, 18, won the 2013 World Championship title for slalom and also captured the season-long World Cup slalom title last winter. •Starters in each event are determined the night prior to that event. •The team was selected from results on the Audi FIS Alpine World Cup tour over the Olympic qualification period, which ended Jan. 26. •Medal competition at the Rosa Khutor alpine venue on Feb. 9 with men’s downhill followed by women’s super combined on Feb. 10.
2014 Olympic Alpine Team Nominations
Men David Chodounsky, Crested Butte, CO (6/25/84) Erik Fisher, Middleton, ID (3/21/85) * Travis Ganong, Squaw Valley, CA (7/14/88) Jared Goldberg, Holladay, UT (6/15/91) Tim Jitloff, Reno, NV (1/11/85) * Nolan Kasper, Warren, VT (3/27/89) * Ted Ligety, Park City, UT (8/31/84) * Bode Miller, Franconia, NH (10/12/77) * Steven Nyman, Sundance, UT (2/12/82) * Marco Sullivan, Squaw Valley, CA (4/27/80) * Andrew Weibrecht, Lake Placid, NY (2/10/86) *
Women Stacey Cook, Mammoth Mountain, CA (7/3/84) * Julia Ford, Holderness, NH (3/30/90) Julia Mancuso, Squaw Valley, CA (3/9/84) * Megan McJames, Park City, UT (9/24/87) * Laurenne Ross, Bend, OR (8/17/88) Mikaela Shiffrin, Eagle-Vail, CO (3/13/95) Leanne Smith, North Conway, NH (5/28/87) * Resi Stiegler, Jackson Hole, WY (11/14/85) * Jacqueline Wiles, Aurora, OR (7/13/92)
* Member of past U.S. Olympic Team
Competition uniforms provided by Spyder.
QUOTES Patrick Riml, Alpine Director We’re on a really good track right now. All the programs, both the tech and speed athletes, are showing really good improvements and progressions. I’m very pleased with where we are right now going into the Games.
It was maybe a little bit of a rough start in some of the areas. But you can see in women’s speed, they are picking it up. Julia and Stacey are doing a good job – same with some of the younger girls and on the men’s side. You can see it with the performance we have right now from the veterans but also the younger athletes. I’m very pleased with them and I feel really comfortable with this team going into the Games.
Sasha Rearick, Men’s Alpine Head Coach As a group we’re building moment right now, which is really nice to see. The guys have been working hard all summer, all fall and all winter, day in and day out and that’s starting to show. The guys have shown 100-percent effort every day. You look at the guys who have been putting in the most effort, those are the guys we’re going to be taking to the Games and the ones that we can count on to represent America well.
Alex Hoedlmoser, Women’s Alpine Head Coach I’m proud of the progress this team has made the closer we get to Sochi. We still have a lot of work to do, but the potential for success is certainly there. On the tech side with Mikaela, we have some huge potential, both in the slalom and giant slalom. On the speed side, we saw that Julia and Stacey definitely are on the right track, on a huge upswing. Sochi is a total different thing and the chances are there for champion performances.
All nominations are subject to approval by the U.S. Olympic Committee.
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Andrew Weibrecht makes a run during a training session in February 2013 in Maria Alm, Austria. (Photo — Mitchell Gunn/ESPA)