OLYMPICS| Weibrecht, alpine luminaries on Sports Illustrated cover

SIAndrew Weibrecht, Lake Placid’s own, is on the cover of this week’s issue of Sports Illustrated with U.S. Ski Team colleagues Lindsey Vonn, Bode Miller and Julia Mancuso. Image courtesy of Sports Illustrated.

Andrew Weibrecht, the “War Horse” wunderkind of the U.S. Ski Team, figures prominently on the cover of the March 1 issue of Sports Illustrated. With him are silver-and-gold medalist Lindsey Vonn, Bode Miller, whose Vancouver hardware collection includes all three medal varieties, and silver medalist Julia Mancuso. The four are the focus of “American Flyers,” a feature by Tim Layden.

Congratulations, again, to Andrew, for earing a bronze in the Super G last week in Whistler.

OLYMPICS| Innsbruck games of 1964 remembered

JumperA ski jumper flies off the long hill during the 1964 Olympic Winter Games at Innsbruck, Austria.

InnsbruckThe IX Winter Olympiad opened in Innsbruck, Austria on Jan. 29, 1964 and closed on Feb. 9, 1964. In all, some 1,091 athletes from 36 nations competed in Alpine skiing, Nordic skiing, bobsleigh, luge, hockey, figure skating and speed skating.

Innsbruck was selected as the 1964 host city during a 1959 International Olympic Committee meeting in Berlin. The Austrian resort beat out Calgary, Alberta, which would go on to host the XV Olympiad in 1988.

As Vancouver has been during this Olympiad, Innsbruck was plagued by a lack of snow. Members of the Austrian Army had to transport 20,000 blocks of ice from surrounding mountaintops to sustain the bobsleigh and luge course.

The Soviets dominated in Innsbruck, taking the most medals and the mot gold medals. For the United States, Speed Skater Terry McDermott delivered the only gold medal, winning the 500-metre race. Legendary Alpine skier Billy Kid earned the silver medal in men’s slalom. Female skier Jean Saubert took silver in the women’s giant slalom.

Innsbruck, in these photos from the LIFE archive largely taken by Ralph Crane, looks gorgeous.

VIDEO| Franz Klammer, Innsbruck, 1976

OLYMPICS| Bulletin: Lake Placid’s Weibrecht takes Super G bronze

WeibrechtAndrew Weibrecht of Lake Placid has won the bronze medal in the Super G at the 2010 Olympic Winter Games.

“The War Horse,” in his Olympic debut, has earned a bronze medal, coming in third behind Norway’s Aksel Lund and American Bode Miller in Friday’s Super G competition at Whistler Mountain.

With a time of 1:30.65, Lake Placid’s own Andrew Weibrecht was off Lund’s lead of 1:30:34 by +0.31. Weibrecht, who grew up in the Olympic Village and trained at Whiteface Mountain, site of alpine events during the 1980 Olympic Winter Games, has been the dark horse in the U.S. Ski Team’s stable.

The Associated Press reported Friday:

It was the first elite-level podium finish for Weibrecht, who has never finished better than 10th in a World Cup race. That was in the downhill at Beaver Creek, Colo., in November 2007.
“I haven’t ever come down leading a race,” said the Lake Placid, N.Y., native. He started third and “figured I would stay in there until 10 guys came down.”

Steve Reynolds, our outdoors correspondent who trained with Weibrecht after retiring from a distinguished skiing carreer of his own earlier in the decade, was ecstatic at Friday’s results.

“When you train on bumpy, ungroomed, flat light at Whiteface it teaches you to ski race on anything,” Reynolds said. “Andrew deserves a medal not only because he is talented but because he is a worker.”

Congratulations, Andrew!

Photo courtesy of Andrew Weibrecht.

OLYMPICS| Track Vancouver skiing results live via FIS-Ski.com

If you’re like me, you’re starting to get a little tired of “Nothing But Curling.” If you’re interested in skiing, of either the alpine or nordic variety, these have not been impressive games in terms of television coverage.

Don’t fear, though. Outdoor correspondent and decorated skier Steve Reynolds advises you keep up with action from Whistler via FIS-Ski.com, the site of Federation Internationale du Ski, the governing body for international alpine and nordic competition.

Men’s super G is on now. You can track results live. Get to it.

OLYMPICS| For the Olympics, it’s the Adirondack Daily Enterprise

ADEThursday afternoon’s Adirondack Daily Enterprise, the only daily newspaper published in the Adirondack Park.

I think a lot about the Adirondack Daily Enterprise and the Lake Placid News, those journalistic jewels of the Adirondacks where I began my career. During these Olympics, I’ve been thinking of my old papers almost every hour. Two colleagues and friends, senior sports writer Lou Reuter and managing editor Peter Crowley are on the ground in British Columbia, covering the competition and the events surrounding it. I’m very tardy in making mention of their efforts during this XXI Winter Olympiad and, for that, I am sorry.

Hardly any newspapers in this country, save for the largest titles, were able to send correspondents to Vancouver. It’s the newswires’ show. It’s simply remarkable, therefore, that a company whose papers’ combined circulation is flirts with 8,000 in the best weeks and months, believes enough in the Olypmics to send two journalists to cover them.

As John Warren, editor of the Adirondack Almanack, a site that complements the Enterprise’s hyperlocal coverage of the Tri-Lakes, correctly pointed out Wednesday, the Adirondacks are deeply focused on the Olympics. More than a dozen American athletes have connections to Lake Placid, which, of course, played host to the games in both 1932 and 1980. The place lives and breathes for the games. I’ve envied Peter and Lou as they’ve stalked the venues at Whistler and in Vancouver and Richmond. They’re doing their publications a terrific service. Lou, of course, is a sports whiz. He’s covered World Cup competitions for better than 15 years. Peter, whose roots are on the news side of the shop, has worked to shape his coverage on how the Adirondacks as a region and a tourist destination are being represented in Vancouver. In addition to their updates several times a day, the Enterprise has linked to several local athletes’ blogs and Twitter feeds.

Let’s hope it’s not the last winter games for Peter, Lou or their paper. You can be sure they’d jump at the chance to cover the next round in Sochi.

To follow their coverage, visit the Enterprise’s Web site here.

OLYMPICS| Squaw Valley games of 1960 remembered, Part Two

Squaw 2Members of the press corps cover an event in the 1960 Olympic Winter Games at Squaw Valley.

Here’s another round of photos from the 1960 games in Squaw Valley. An interesting fact about the VIII Olympiad, pointed out in a comment on my earlier post by our good friend, Jeremy Witt: Instant replay debuted at Squaw. CBS, which lead coverage of the games, was asked to review film of a slalom run in which a male skier was though to have missed a gate.

Take a look at more photos from 1960:

OLYMPICS| Jamaican Bobsled, Calgary, 1988

OLYMPICS| Squaw Valley games of 1960 remembered, Part One

Squaw 1Athletes gather in a Squaw Valley lodge during the Olympic Winter Games of 1960.

The games of the XXI Winter Olympiad begin today in Vancouver. This is Canada’s second time hosting the winter games; Calgary did the honors for the XV Olympiad in 1988. Those were the first games I can remember and I’ve been entranced by the world of winter sports since.

So what better time to start a series of galleries from the Life Archive, chronicling the 1960, 1964 and 1968 Olympic Winter Games in Squaw Valley, Innsbruck and Grenoble, respectively. We’ll start with the 1960 Games.

Squaw LogoSquaw Valley was awarded its games by the International Olympic Committee in 1955 and its victory marked the games’ first return to North America since Lake Placid hosted the III Winter Olympiad in 1932. The brainchild of Alexander Cushing, a Groton-and-Harvard educated attorney from Boston, Squaw Valley and its games developed together. When Cushing secured the bid, Squaw Valley had no municipal incorporation. There was only one chairlift and a 50-room lodge to serve guests. Still, by 1960, facilities for figure skating and hockey had been constructed and, for the first time, an Olympic Village was erected to house participating athletes.

In sum, 30 nations sent 750 athletes to compete in 15 of alpine, nordic, figure skating, speed skating and hockey events. Bobsleigh, a sport with rich Olympic traditions, was not contested at Squaw Valley. It returned to Innsburck in 1964. Highlights of the VIII Olympiad included the American hockey team’s victory over the Soviet Union, Frenchman Jean Vuarnet’s gold in downhill alpine skiing and American skier Penny Pitou’s silver medals in downhill and giant slalom.

Take a look at the Squaw Valley games:

CLIP| 1980 Placid highlights preview Sarajevo games

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