FILE UNDER -- Alpine // Top Story

Olympics: U.S. super G starters ready

WHISTLER CREEKSIDE, BC (Feb. 18) – Men’s alpine returns to the Olympic spotlight Friday with men’s super G Friday, featuring downhill bronze medalist Bode Miller, 2006 combined gold medalist Ted Ligety, Marco Sullivan and Andrew Weibrecht.

“We took a couple of days off with the guys,” said men’s Head Coach Sasha Rearick. “Ted trained GS yesterday and today we free skied the hill. Bode actually focused on training slalom today. It was a good day to get a little bit of slalom in because he hasn’t been able to train slalom in about a week. We’ve got a bunch of different programs going so the guys get what they need to perform tomorrow.”

Miller, the 2005 World Champion in super G and the 2007 World Cup title holder rolls into Friday’s event with momentum from his return to the Olympic podium. Following a day off after the downhill, Miller got back to business Thursday with some slalom training.

“He’s doing well, the last few days he’s taken some time to rest and recover and I think he’s fired up to go,” said Rearick. “He wants to put down another inspiring run and the course set looks good and we’re excited to race tomorrow.”

For Ligety, the Olympic season has brought a burst of speed to the technical expert. Early in the year, he found the top 10 early in the discipline World Cup opener in Lake Louse, then knifed his way to the podium in Val d’Isere, France last December.

“It’s going to be a fun race for Ted because it has some tactical challenges and it does have some turns but there are sections where it’s going to favor the downhillers,” said Rearick. “We just have to see if Ted can take that recent increase of speed that he’s found over the last month and bring that to the hill tomorrow.”

Sullivan has come close to the World Cup podium in super G with a pair of fifth-place finishes during the 2008 season, but has yet to make the big step. For Weibrecht, it’s an opportunity for redemption following a downhill race he thought could have been a lot better.

“Andrew and Marco have been skiing great,” Rearick said. “I think he (Weibrecht) definitely had his first rookie move in the downhill. He was really nervous, he skied tense, but we got that under his belt and he realizes that it’s just ski racing and tomorrow if he draws well, I’m looking forward to seeing him put down a run that he’ll be very proud of.”

The super G is set to start at 11:30 a.m. PT.

Shauna Farnell

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