Growing up in Lake Placid as one of five kids, Andrew Weibrecht would beg his parents to let him train at Whiteface where his older brother was an accomplished racer. Today, (January 22) Weibrecht finished secondin one of the world’s most famous ski races: the Super G at the Audi FIS Ski World Cup on the classic Hahnenkamm track in Kitzbuhel, Austria.
“I couldn’t be happier. It’s awesome,” said Weibrecht. “Growing up everybody thinks about getting on the podium at Kitzbuehel. Today is a dream come true.”
Norway’s Aksel Lund Svindal won the race, and scored his 15th career World Cup super G victory. Austria’s Hannes Reichelt was third. Friday’s super G also served as the first leg of the alpine combined and is followed with an afternoon slalom race.
Warren, Vermont’s dark horse Drew Duffy (see Ski Racing’s Big Surprise) finished 50th as his parents, Sean and Betsy Duffy cheered from the sidelines.
“I thought I was close today, but Aksel skied a great run,” Weibrecht said. ”I’m a little disappointed that he beat me, but it’s an amazing feeling. This is a dream come true to take home one of the Kitzbuehel trophies.”
Wiley Maple (Aspen, CO) was 25th, and Steven Nyman (Sundance, UT) was 26th. Thomas Biesemeyer (Keene, NY) was 31st, Bryce Bennett (Squaw Valley, CA) 34th, Drew Duffy (Warren, VT) 50th and Tim Jitloff (Reno, NV) 53rd.
Weibrecht, whose nicknames “Warhorse” dedicated his performance to 1994 Olympic Downhill Champion Bill Johnson, who passed away Thursday afternoon.
“He really jump started American downhill racing,” Weibrecht said of Johnson. “Nothing really happened up until 1984 when Bill came and put down that fantastic run in Sarajevo. He really revitalized the sport and paved the way for guys like Tommy Moe, AJ Kitt and Kyle Rasmussen … and those guys paved the way for our generation. It’s really important to recognize where we have come from as a country in this sport, and Bill was a big part of that.”
Reporting and photo courtesy USSA