WHISTLER, British Columbia - Andrew Weibrecht added himself to the ever-growing list of local athletes who have stood on an Olympic podium Feb. 19, earning bronze in the men's Super-G competition.
The Lake Placid native skied to a single run time of 1:30.65 to finish third in the event, one of several he's competing in as part of the U.S. men's alpine ski team.
Weibrecht, whose parents, Ed and Lisa, operate the Mirror Lake Inn in Lake Placid, has been skiing since the age of five at Whiteface and began racing with the New York Ski Educational Foundation (NYSEF) program by the time he was 10.
Now 24, he has been on the World Cup circuit since 2006, but never finished higher than 10th. This was his is his first Olympic Winter Games.
"This is a tremendous accomplishment for Andrew," said Weibrecht's NYSEF coach Horst Weber. "From day one, Andrew showed great promise as a ski racer and today everyone in our program should feel proud to be a part of what he was able to achieve."
Fellow American Bode Miller, a Franconia, N.H., native in his fourth Olympics, won the race's silver medal in a time of 1:30.62, while Norway's Aksel Lund Svindal won the race with a time of 1:30.34. Miller's silver was the second of three medals he's won at the 2010 games thus far, making five total olympic medals for his career.
"What a great day for Andrew and his whole family," noted New York State Olympic Regional Development Authority chairman Joe Martens. "Of course this is a huge day for him and his family, but it's also a remarkable day for ORDA and Lake Placid. Andrew's an extraordinary person and athlete."
The U.S. team had previously won only one Olympic medal in men's Super-G: a silver medal won by Tommy Moe during the 1994 winter games in Lillehammer, Norway.
The two medals by Miller and Weibrecht triple the U.S. total in the Super-G and gives the U.S. alpine ski team eight 2010 Olympic medals as of Feb. 21.
North Elba Supervisor Roby Politi moved for a resolution of congratulations to Weibrecht, which was unanimously seconded by the Essex County Ways and Means committee Feb. 22.
"It's gratifying to have someone like Andrew grow up on the slopes of Whiteface and become an Olympic medalist.," said ORDA president/CEO Ted Blazer. "Andrew is an incredibly hard-working athlete who has never given up and all of us are extremely proud of him."
There are 216 U.S. athletes competing in the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver. Among them:
• 32 either reside in or originate from New York State.
• 24 have competed as High Schoolers in New York's Empire State Games. Of those, 16 still live in New York State. The Empire State Winter games have been held in Lake Placid every year since their inception in 1981.
• 12 call the Tri-Lakes region their home:
Andrew Weibrecht (23, Lake Placid, Alpine Skiing)
Peter Frenette (17, Saranac Lake, Ski Jumping)
Lowell Bailey (28, Lake Placid, Biathlon)
Tim Burke (28, Paul Smiths, Biathlon)
Haley Johnson (28, Lake Placid, Biathlon)
Bill Demong (29, Vermontville, Nordic Combined)
Ashley Caldwell (16, Lake Placid, Freestyle Aerial)
Chris Mazdzer (21, Saranac Lake, Luge)
Brian Martin (36, Lake Placid, Luge)
Bengt Walden (36, Lake Placid, Luge)
Mark Grimmette (39, Lake Placid, Luge)
John Napier (23, Lake Placid, Bobsled)
• Four graduated from Lake Placid's National Sports Academy: Bill Demong ('98), Haley Johnson ('00), Chris Mazdzer ('06) and Nick Alexander ('07).
• Seven have participated in programs through the New York Ski Education Foundation, based in Lake Placid: Nick Alexander, Lowell Bailey, Tim Burke, Bill Demong, Peter Frenette, Haley Johnson, and Andrew Weibrecht.
• Six have received grants from the Uihlein-Ironman Sports Fund at Adirondack Community Trust to support their training: Lowell Bailey, Tim Burke, Bill Demong, Peter Frenette, Haley Johnson and Chris Mazdzer.