Weibrecht crashes, doesn’t finish super combined
KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia – Andrew Weibrecht crashed during his slalom run this afternoon and did not finish the men’s Olympic super combined at the Rosa Khutor Alpine Center.
The 28-year-old from Lake Placid was roughly halfway through the slalom course when one of his skis caught a gate and tripped him up, sending him sliding down the hill headfirst on his belly.
“I came off the top and felt like I skied OK up there; then you come onto a flat and pick up a lot of speed,” he said. “Then I just kind of hooked my tip on a gate and was sliding. It was super-quick. I was in, and all of a sudden I was out.”
For the first time in three Olympics, an American did not win the super combined. The gold medal went to Switzerland’s Sandro Viletta with a winning time of 2 minutes, 45.20 seconds. Ivica Kostelic of Croatia won the silver in 2:45.54 while Italy’s Christof Innerhofer won the bronze with a 2:45.67.
The top U.S. finish came from Bode Miller of Easton, N.H., who won the event at the 2010 Vancouver games. He placed sixth today with time of 2:46.60, 1.40 seconds behind Viletta. The top-10 finish was the ninth of Miller’s Olympic career, which ties him with Lasse Kjus of Norway for second in Olympic Winter Games career top-10 finishes. The record of 13 is held by Norway’s Kjetil Andre Aamodt.
Jared Goldberg of Salt Lake City, Utah finished 11th in 2:47.29 while Ted Ligety of Park City, Utah, who won the combined at the Torino, Italy games in 2006, was 12th at 2:47.39.
The downhill portion of the super combined was held this morning. Weibrecht finished in 20th place with a time of 1:55.33, 2.09 seconds behind the leader.
The time of the downhill element had been moved up from 11 a.m. to 10 a.m. in the hope that the course, beset by several days of sunshine and warm temperatures, would be more firm.
After his downhill run, Weibrecht said the snow conditions were pretty soft in some areas.
“It gets super soft and it’s pretty bumpy,” he said. “Kind of nasty down there.”
Weibrecht was the 11th skier out of the gate in the afternoon slalom race. He was one of about a dozen who didn’t finish it. Weibrecht said the course setup wasn’t “really that rhythmical and (was) sort of an obstacle course.
“It’s a funky set,” he said. “There’s a lot of opportunities to make weird mistakes. There’s not a whole lot of rhythm or flow to the course and that lends itself to a lot of DNFs.
“The snow was a lot better than expected. It ran easier than I thought it would in my limited slalom training. It wasn’t icy at all. It was spring snow they had salted, so it got harder and kind of bound together. It was kind of granular spring snow.”
Asked how long it will take him to move past today’s result and get ready for his next race, Sunday’s super-giant slalom, Weibrecht pointed to the spot on the course where he crashed.
“By the time I stood back up, I think I was past it,” he said.