Jansrud wins Olympic super-G; Bode Miller ties for bronze
KRASNAYA POLYANA, Russia — Kjetil Jansrud won the fourth straight Olympic super-G gold medal for Norway on Sunday, topping an early run by Bode Miller and then watching a late charge from Andrew Weibrecht fall just short.
Jansrud finished the choppy course in 1 minute, 18.14 seconds to help his country maintain its dominance in the Olympic men’s event. Starting 29th, Weibrecht flew down the hill and wound up second, 0.30 seconds behind.
"It’s insane," said Jansrud, whose nation now has five of the eight gold medals awarded in Olympic super-G.
Miller, Weibrecht’s American teammate, and Jan Hudec of Canada tied for third. Miller is the oldest Alpine skier to medal at 36.
This was Miller’s sixth Olympic medal, moving him two behind the all-time Alpine leader Kjetil Andre Aamodt.
Norway has long ruled this Olympic discipline, with Aamodt winning in 2002 and `06, and Aksel Lund Svindal in 2010. Svindal struggled on Sunday and finished seventh.
But Jansrud was there to pick up the pace. This has been quite an Olympics for Jansrud, who won a bronze medal in the downhill and finished fourth in the super-combined.
On Sunday, Jansrud tamed a course that was running a tad bit slow. He was in line with Miller’s run all the way down the course, before finding extra speed at the bottom.
After crossing the finish line, the 28-year-old Jansrud celebrated in style. He let out a scream, pumped his fists and later held his ski above his head, even giving the ski a kiss.
Jansrud had only one World Cup victory entering the Olympics — in the super-G nearly two years ago — but has consistently skied very well on this inconsistent course.
"It feels perfect so far," Jansrud said of being an Olympic champion.
Weibrecht, who’s nicknamed "War Horse," has been besieged by injuries since winning a surprise Olympic bronze medal in super-G four years ago in Vancouver. He has blown out each ankle and gone through surgeries on both shoulders. He also lost his sponsorship from the US ski team for lackluster results.
"It’s unbelievable. I came down and knew I skied well. I knew I had a good run," Weibrecht said. "I came through the finish and appreciated my run. Then I took a couple of seconds and looked at the time, I saw two and looked away. I looked again and was like, `You’ve got to be kidding me.’"
Miller wasn’t surprised. He half expected Weibrecht to make a charge, even with the course running quite a bit slower at the bottom.
"With Andrew at the start, I was like, `There’s a good chance he wins this run right now,’" said Miller, who captured silver in the super-G in Vancouver. "To be on the podium, it’s a really big day for me. Emotionally, I had a lot riding on it. I’m super, super happy."
He let out his emotions, too, tearing up when he hugged wife, professional volleyball player Morgan Miller, after the race.
Miller surpassed one of Aamodt’s marks, though, becoming the oldest skier to capture a medal. Aamodt was just over 34 when he won in 2006.
Hudec entered the games with a bulging disk in his back, one that had him wondering just how well he could ski. Day by day, though, the pain has lessened, enough for him to glide down the course Sunday and share the bronze medal with Miller.
This was the first Alpine medal for Canada since Ed Podivinsky captured bronze in 1994.
"I can’t be thankful enough and at the same time I know there’s gas in the tank for gold," Hudec said. "Hopefully, it’s not the last time you see me."