Issei Kato/Reuters/Landov
Lorenzo Benet
February 21, 2010 02:00 PM

Despite a previous best finish of 10th place on the World Cup circuit, Alpine skier Andrew Weibrecht, 24, won a surprise bronze in the Super-G on Friday and competes in the Super Combined today. Here are five things to know about the champion.

Skiing Runs In the Family
“My dad, Ed, moved us to Lake Placid so he could ski every day,” Weibrecht explains. “I went with him and I started racing at age five.”

He Hits the Slopes – and the Books
A sophomore at Dartmouth, Weibrecht returns to campus for 10 weeks each spring to study Earth science. “I credit college keeping me in skiing,” he says. “I had lost the passion but after going to school, I fell back in love with skiing because I missed doing it. I like going back to school because I love the change of pace.”

Screams Help Him Succeed
His coaches know how to fire him up: “My nickname is War Horse. My last name was always mispronounced and I m super intense on the slopes – in everything I do,” Weibrecht admits. “When I m at the gate, the coaches scream that name in my face to pump me up.”

He’d Love to Ride the Waves
“I wish I could be closer to the ocean so I could surf. I know I d like it,” Weibrecht says. “I love to fly fish – it keeps my mind working all the time.”
RELATED: 5 Things to Know About Olympic Skier Julia Mancuso

His Lady Is Quite the Catch
His girlfriend, Denja Rand, is a teacher, a hottie and a champ: “She coaches alpine skiing and teaches English and history at National Sports Academy in Lake Placid,” notes Weibrecht proudly. “She also won a beauty competition for the ski boots maker, Lange – she s the 2010 Local Lange Girl contest winner, with more than 63,000 votes.”

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