Bode Miller ties for super-G 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.
"To be on the podium, it's a really big day for me," said Miller, who placed eighth in downhill and sixth in super-combined. "Emotionally, I had a lot riding on it. I'm super, super happy."
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 U.S. 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, even taking to Twitter to hold on to the moment and remember his younger brother, Chelone, who died last year.
Thanks for all the support, today was one of the most emotional days of my life. I miss my brother.- Bode Miller (@MillerBode) February 16, 2014
The guy who for years and years insisted results don't mean much to him declared he actually did care about this one. The last year has been a difficult one for Miller: the death of his younger brother in April 2013; the court fight over custody of his infant son; the work it took to come back from left knee surgery and return to the Alpine apex.
"It's almost therapeutic for me to be in these situations, where I really had to test myself, so I was happy to have it be on the right side of the hundredths," said Miller, who grew up in New Hampshire and is now based in California. "Some days ... medals don't matter, and today was one of the ones where it does."
He wiped away tears in the finish area after someone mentioned Chelone, a charismatic snowboarder who was 29 and hoping to make the U.S. team in Sochi when he died of what was believed to be a seizure.
"Everything felt pretty raw and pretty connected," Miller said, "so it was a lot for me."
Miller surpassed one of Aamodt's marks Sunday, 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."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.