Weibrecht gears up for Lauberhorn

In alpine skiing action this week, Lake Placid native Andrew Weibrecht is in Wengen, Switzerland, getting ready for the famous Lauberhorn downhill race on Saturday.

Weibrecht is hoping to have a strong 2013 campaign after battling some illnesses that slowed him down late in 2012.

Lauberhorn racing begins Friday with the super combined race.

This a big event for skiers because the Lauberhorn downhill is the longest and oldest downhill ski race on the World Cup calendar. The first race took place in 1930 with Switzerland’s Christian Rubi taking first place.

The race is expected to draw about 2,400 people at the finish line and a large media contigent of 365 journalists from 17 countries. Last year, there were 59 competitors in the downhill.

It doesn’t look like fellow Adirondacker Thomas Biesemeyer of Keene will ski in the Lauberhorn because he’s recovering from a serious crash that took place in a downhill race in Bormio, Italy, at the end of last year. Biesemeyer was able to ski away from the accident but has serious bruising. He’s expected to return to racing once fully recovered.

A video showing Biesemeyer’s crash is available on the Internet. It was recorded by NBC’s Universal Sports Network.

Another video you don’t want to miss if you are an alpine skiing fan follows U.S. alpine skier Ted Ligety in the 36 hours leading up to his impressive giant slalom victory in Alta Badia, Italy in mid-December.

Saranac Lake resident Doug Haney earned assistant producer credits for his role in helping make the documentary happen. Haney is a press officer with the U.S. Alpine Ski Team.

Local skiers will remember that Ligety was one of the U.S. Ski Team members to visit Mount Pisgah in March 2010 as part of a fundraiser for the village-run hill. Ligety was joined by about a half-dozen team members, who were all in town for the U.S. Alpine Championships being held at Whiteface Mountain.

The video has aired already but will will be played again on NBC Sports Network at 1 a.m. on Sunday, Jan. 20, following the network’s NHL opener.

Ski jumping

Saranac Lake’s Peter Frenette and his teammate Anders Johnson are in Japan, looking to compete in the upcoming World Cup in Sapporo. Qualifiers are Thursday with competitions taking place Friday and Saturday.

For Frenette, this marks a return to where he got his first World Cup action. In 2011, he took 18th and 33rd in Sapporo. If he qualifies, this would be his third World Cup competition there.