Originally Posted by Adie
Interesting to hear the sarcastic responses. It sounds like a few feathers have been ruffled. I am in no way questioning the man's achievements.He is in the top 10 of all time in terms of results and behind only Benni Raich amongst currently active racers. I was merely making the observation that he had the opportunity to be better prepared maybe and that might be a question of commitment. If he is spending time with family and doing other things then good luck to him.
When you see the likes of Cuche who has had his best skiing years at an older age than Bode, I wonder if despite all his great results he might have been up there with Maier had he had the same drive and passion for racing that some others have had. He is one immensley talented man. When I watch the lines he attempts it defies belief and some of his recoveries are almost superhuman. In sport I believe you should strive to be the best you can be. Great though he is, his talent could have made him greater.
I would just have one gripe with him and that is the fact that he ducked out of the world cup tour to prepare for the Olympics. Meanwhile the more loyal tour members who were ahead of him at the time kept going and battling on for the good of the tour. Cuche indeed picked up a hand injury which really should have caused him to miss the games. It almost certainly deprived him of his last chance of a gold. He stuck with it though. What state would the tour be in if all the top guys picked and chose their races in the way Bode does.
Bode stuck with it too, skiing injured through most of the last few years. His conditioning regimen does not put him in the "slacker" category IMHO since his stated goals were always to believe he was in better condition than anyone else in the gate and, of course, not get hurt.
He decided to ski in the last Olympics long after summer training ended (there is a guy in Park City who doesn't like him), and he needed to peak at the right time. If you remember he was winning the long Wengen downhill that year until he gassed out at the very end. A few weeks later he was in top physical condition for the Olympics except for his ankle, racing downhill in what looked like SL boots. He was indeed in shape at the right time.
Bode doesn't seem to be the kind of guy who cries on camera about injuries, fog killing a run, disqualifications over a boot being 1mm off (and his foot being too swollen to put the boot back on), etc. Based upon his current "elder statesman" role, he is acting appropriately as a team player.
I agree that the older guys to a large extent make the tour what it is. They still rock the speed events (perhaps because of experience) and are exciting to watch.
Saying that Bode Miller should have won more is like saying Jack Nicklaus won so often because he just let the field defeat themselves. Miller just wanted--at least in the past--to ski the fastest he could regardless of what made sense in terms of giving him the greatest percentage chance of winning. Ski racing would be boring without guys like him (the TV ratings suck as it is in the USA).