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Bode Miller provides update on possible return to skiing

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 

NEW YORK — Bode Miller, the most decorated U.S. Olympic skier of all time with six medals, discussed the possible resumption of his career and its memorable moments while sitting in a hotel room on the 28th floor of the Viceroy hotel overlooking dreary Midtown Manhattan on Monday afternoon.

 

http://olympictalk.nbcsports.com/2015/06/15/bode-miller-alpine-skiing-comeback-olympics/

 

It's a nice Q & A piece on many topics. Definitely, worth the read.

 

He's not saying retirement and he still feels that he's got the speed and feels good. But with a new child and family being the number one priority, he won't commit to a full season. I'm glad to see that he's trying to get a process going where the current "veterans" of the sport help the young ones transition to the World Cup.

post #2 of 25
Good article
Would love to see him race again but wouldn't blame him if he did the smart thing and retire to his family.
Interesting take on the Kitzbuel 2014 and the Herminator.
Speaking of Maier, I went to the Torino Olympic DH in 2006. Stood right next to Maker as he walked by after the race. Was surprised he's not that big of a guy. Compact and powerful though!

Bode is the best. Love the maturity while still keeping a bit of the bada$$ attitude
post #3 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by JonD999 View Post

Speaking of Maier, I went to the Torino Olympic DH in 2006. Stood right next to Maker as he walked by after the race. Was surprised he's not that big of a guy. Compact and powerful though!

 

My friend thought the same thing about Hirscher. My friend saw Hirscher at an Atomi event in Tokyo last month. He said that he wasn't that tall but he was strong. Really had a lot of muscle.

 

Overall, I actually wouldn't mind if he stopped racing. If he does race, I'll cheer him on (my home mountain is Sugarloaf where Bode spent his high school time at CVA). I would really like to see if the US Ski Team can put his skills to use outside of skiing. He is a smart guy and seems like a waste for him not to put his ski knowledge and ability to work for the team.

post #4 of 25
Well it sounds like its not going to be this season but next.
Here he's talking about Kitzbuhel but it could really be any race. If jhe had been willing to back off 10-20 percent many times he probably could have doubled his podiums.
Quote:
OlympicTalk: But you’ve said in interviews that that’s one [race win] that you really want.

Miller: It certainly is one of the things on the list of accomplishments that any ski racer knows about and can feel the pressure to perform there. I have for years, and that’s why I’ve continually tried to step my game up. It’s not a race I would feel good about had I won it at 80 percent. I could have won it several times skiing at 80 percent. I refuse to do it. I think the hill itself, the history, the sport demands more respect than that. You have to give it everything you’ve got when you’re there. Even if you know that winning could be done at a lesser level of intensity.
post #5 of 25

"I made a decision about how I wanted to play the game. I would rather lose hitting the ball hard than win holding back."     ...Rod Laver

 

Love Bode, love The Rocket, love that philosophy!  Thumbs Up

post #6 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by JonD999 View Post

Good article
Would love to see him race again but wouldn't blame him if he did the smart thing and retire to his family.
Interesting take on the Kitzbuel 2014 and the Herminator.
Speaking of Maier, I went to the Torino Olympic DH in 2006. Stood right next to Maker as he walked by after the race. Was surprised he's not that big of a guy. Compact and powerful though!

Bode is the best. Love the maturity while still keeping a bit of the bada$$ attitude

 

Would love to see him race again but wouldn't blame him if he did the smart thing and retire to his family.

 

Totally agree.  Bode obviously possesses the skill, determination, tenacity, raw power and luck to generate this type of career and impressive results.  

 

Am always wary of athletes who try to push too hard after their prime.  I love a good comeback, but always want to remember Bode for his amazingly aggressive victories. 

post #7 of 25

Really enjoyed this article from Hank McKee the other day:

 

http://www.skiracing.com/stories/mcthoughts-will-bode-race-again/

post #8 of 25
That was a great article.
Wow 136 consecutive races?
I liked the story how the guy doesn't pick Bode first for his volleyball team then gets destroyed.
post #9 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by 4ster View Post
 

Really enjoyed this article from Hank McKee the other day:

 

http://www.skiracing.com/stories/mcthoughts-will-bode-race-again/

 

Enjoyed it as well - thanks!  Here's a little more on that 2002 Superstars competition...

 

Miller and 1998 Olympic moguls champ Moseley finished 1-2 in the 2002 SuperStars competition at Montego Bay, Jamaica. Miller, who was coming off a season with two Olympic medals and four World Cup wins, clinched the '02 title when he vaulted over the wooden wall that starts the traditional final event, the obstacle course. While many athletes use a running start to get high on the wall and then clamber over the top, Miller figured out that by using the spikes and his natural athletic ability, he could get a quick toehold high on the wall that would springboard him to victory -- and he did just that. He bounded over, placing just one foot on the wall as he grabbed the top and was gone in a flash, easily defeating linebacker Lavarr Arrington.

 

http://www.tahoedailytribune.com/article/20030527/SPORTS/305270301

 

 

Miller said people don't appreciate the athleticism necessary in elite ski racing. He points to last summer's installment of Superstars, the made-for-TV competition pitting top athletes from different sports against each other in various events.

The results:

1. Hermann Maier, the Austrian skiing champion out this season with an injury.

2. Jason Sehorn, the New York Giants defensive back.

3. Alberto Tomba, the retired skiing legend from Italy.

"And Tomba's not even in great shape," Miller said. "He hasn't been racing. He hasn't been training as much. . . . And still he's beating these top athletes from basketball, soccer, baseball, football, everything.

"To see the only two skiers in the competition finish first and third out of 16 or 20 athletes, to me that confirms what I've always felt about ski racing. To be at the top, you have to have a load of athleticism.

"It would be interesting for people in the U.S. to start realizing that. The U.S. is drawn to seeing amazing athletics. I just don't think they really connect that with skiing. They think skiing is just put your feet together and go down the hill. Most of the athletes on top in World Cup skiing could have done whatever they wanted in sports."

 

http://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/olympics/2014/02/21/bode-miller-in-2002-salt-lake-city-olympics/5671617/

 

 

Skiers I guess are highly underrated - I think Stenmark won too back when he competed in the Superstars.

post #10 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by jc-ski View Post

 

 

Skiers I guess are highly underrated - I think Stenmark won too back when he competed in the Superstars.

Not sure about Stenmark but I am pretty sure JC Killy won the very first Superstars competition.

post #11 of 25
Yes I remember seeing that comp where Maier won and the surprise was Tomba. Do they still do those? I think it might get a better audience now.

Also, if Maier won in 2002 that would have been a year after his leg was nearly amputated acter the motorcycle accident.
Edited by Tog - 6/24/15 at 9:29am
post #12 of 25

In addition, I remember seeing Picabo Street on the American Gladiators.  She just destroyed all the big buffed up people.  Was not even close.  A woman against girls.

post #13 of 25

4ster: You are right, Skiers really are up there in overall athletic ability as JC Killy was 2nd as per this website a Google search yielded.

http://www.thesuperstars.org/

 

Great stories, and fun, and yes, now to some extent one understands the greatness of Alberto Tomba, guy is a natural, with his heft and so on, must have been an uncannily talented bundle of muscle and fat on the snow..and he lived the good life, good example to set I think anyway.

 

These stories are very cool. Picabo Street went on American Gladiator, seriously..that is nuts! That is such a bad show, again my opinion. Then again, everyone has to make a living. 

 

Bode's respect for Ms. Vonn is worth noting as his comment, about the Herminator, just being better, almost never hear of an athlete at the pinnacle of a sport, pay another such a genuine compliment. Especially taken in context of his other observations of lowering 'the all-out factor' would have led him to win more. Mr. Miller is all about credibility but one has to wonder some times, part of all competition, from sport to enterprise, academics, and of course, conquest, wars or just economic competition, is Victory, striving for it. 'History is Written by the Victors' ; so I wonder about that.

 

Rod Laver may have said : "I made a decision about how I wanted to play the game. I would rather lose hitting the ball hard than win holding back." but he was by no means the hardest hitter, or anywhere close of his time, he was the master of athleticism, touch, slice and placement, and he won unlike any other, and those Grand Slams of his were about 6 years apart since he left the official tournament circuit, during the whole Jack Kramer - Pro - Amateur tussle. Brad Gilbert's book "Winning Ugly" is just that, it's about winning, the Dutch with their glorious Total Football were beaten by the Germans and the Argies, Cruyff just could not make it happen, nor could Neeskens. So on this I will insert a minor note of disagreement, Bode may say that "he never holds back" but he is skiing to win, and doing it his way, his idea of "Smart Skiing" - and Bode is smarter than most if not all skiers in the history of skiing, he does adjust, he does adapt and hence I do not get the remark, seems more a self-marker than actually put into practice.

 

Many others choose to adjust their pace just like adjusting your pace on the ball, your swing in tennis to adapt to a new opponent, or stride in track, or adapting to the opponent's strategy in soccer  are all part of winning and key to winning, not sure that is worthy of a negative comment and actually, Bode on those days could not win, was unable to beat his competitors, that is all, is my humble and admittedly admiring spectator's opinion. Race tactics, line, and versatility to change in full cry are key to winning ski races, and Bode has shown the world he is almost God-like in his ability to adapt, ski and descend in full cry; and so I find Bode's comment about all this "all-out part" somewhat disingenuous ... , since he is genuinely wistful it appears on not winning the Streif last year, and was he ready. Now really, think about it,  Didier Cuche won the Strief I think 5 times and he was 40(?) when he took it in 2014, now I am not sure Didier Cuche winning 5x means he was holding back. The man won it first time in the 90's.

 

Bode is inspiring, and he may not care about the 2006 Olympics which is his prerogative, but it hurt a lot of fans, and skiers, no question, the spirit of American skiing was wounded there, and Bode may not want that responsibility, and sure that is his prerogative again but does not change the facts on the ground, being the hopes of a nation is a responsibility of great champions. People get their kids to watch, to be inspired, they pay to watch, you are a professional Athlete for whatever meager or ample wages, expectations for those cheering for you matter, after  allthey are the ones who wave and smile and follow you when you win, and wish you well when you lose or are injured, and when you lead. But that will remain his cross to bear, since he is probably the most naturally gifted and natural-terrain-trained from childhood skier in the history of 'modern' skiing. As Klammer I think once said, "Bode can change anything in a race, everyone is waiting to see what Bode will do" now that is no faint praise.

 

Bode is an inspiration to every kid I know, maybe he should know that too, leadership has responsibilities, no ducking it.


Edited by dustyfog - 6/24/15 at 12:38pm
post #14 of 25

Bode Miller's self-analysis on the 2014 Hahnenkamm , found it just now, man is such a clinical student , really nice self-critique and poignant too as time is running out 

http://www.skiracing.com/stories/reichelt-wins-hahnenkamm-downhill/

post #15 of 25

I have followed Bode's race career closely since the beginning.  I do not recall ever hearing him say that he raced to win?  My take on it is that he has been pretty clear that he races for exceptional performance, to do something that has never been done before.  Whether it is a single turn, series of turns, a different line, a different tactic, ski design, boot set-up or whatever.  If winning is a by product, well that is frosting on the cake.  Certainly a different take on things than say Stenmark who was once quoted as saying "I would rather fall than come in 2nd"

 

I hope that when he is done racing that he will become an advocate for the current athletes.

post #16 of 25

4ster, noted, clearly he is known far more for the races he did 'not' win than those he won. After all, riding the fence or the one-legged descent, or doing an incredible ballet on the longest of skis which hooked a gate to get it back under him are the signature Bode Miller moves, interesting , man is known for what he did when he did not win, far more than his winning. Hermann Maier is an incredible athlete, but maybe my lenses are colored from living this side of the Atlantic but he seemed to never have achieved the mythical status of Bode, while winning the #1 spot far more than Bode, and coming back from two incredible wipe-outs, one on-snow, one off, and Bode saying what he says about Maier, pretty interesting that all over the world Bode evokes more excitement single-ski-ly than any other skier since he arrived on the ski world's horizon. Quite a story still being told.

post #17 of 25

Jim: Hermann and Bode while still amongst us, are the Iron Men of the Ski Slopes, real life Tony Starks

post #18 of 25

 

Quote:

Bode is inspiring, and he may not care about the 2006 Olympics which is his prerogative, but it hurt a lot of fans, and skiers, no question, the spirit of American skiing was wounded there, and Bode may not want that responsibility, and sure that is his prerogative again but does not change the facts on the ground, being the hopes of a nation is a responsibility of great champions. People get their kids to watch, to be inspired, they pay to watch, you are a professional Athlete for whatever meager or ample wages, expectations for those cheering for you matter, after  allthey are the ones who wave and smile and follow you when you win, and wish you well when you lose or are injured, and when you lead. But that will remain his cross to bear, since he is probably the most naturally gifted and natural-terrain-trained from childhood skier in the history of 'modern' skiing. As Klammer I think once said, "Bode can change anything in a race, everyone is waiting to see what Bode will do" now that is no faint praise.

Though Bode got railroaded by the media, the 60minutes story, the constant harping, he brought it on and played right into it. That was awful. Tons of kids were hugely disappointed in a mischaracterization that he helped fuel. That he didn't care. All to make a point that the Olympics is one race and no one pays attention to the world cup? That's America. Coming back from this fiasco publicly took years.

Quote:
but maybe my lenses are colored from living this side of the Atlantic but he [Maier] seemed to never have achieved the mythical status of Bode, while winning the #1 spot far more than Bode,

I don't know that Bode has "mythical" status here. There's plenty of people who don't know who he is. It's ski racing afterall. In terms of "being known", you're right in that he's known for his failures as much as his wins. The thing is if he'd won more, he'd be more known.  He's also been around a long time. Nearly 15 years.

He's always been the way he's been I guess. At CVA he crashed and dnf'd all over the place.

 

Maier electrified the sport. He pretty much redefined "going for it" and athletic power in racing. It was a modern Franz Klammer 1976 Olympics. The accident in summer '01 prevented him from being in the Salt Lake Olympics which would've increased exposure in the US. It was also at the height of his skiing. Coming back from that was pretty major.

post #19 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by jc-ski View Post
 

"I made a decision about how I wanted to play the game. I would rather lose hitting the ball hard than win holding back."     ...Rod Laver

 

Love Bode, love The Rocket, love that philosophy!  Thumbs Up


I relate well to that attitude.  Back in the day I competed in full contact karate, in a style and federation that used Kendo armour and allowed full power hits to the body (and groin:eek), but required that we "show control" to the head.  I lost one or two first place trophies due to my not sitting back when ahead on points due to my opponent hitting my fist with his nose.  As I saw it tournament fighting was as close as I wanted to come to real fighting, so I wasn't going to hold back; I was going to continue with what got me there.

post #20 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tog View Post
 

Though Bode got railroaded by the media, the 60minutes story, the constant harping, he brought it on and played right into it. That was awful. Tons of kids were hugely disappointed in a mischaracterization that he helped fuel. That he didn't care. All to make a point that the Olympics is one race and no one pays attention to the world cup? That's America. Coming back from this fiasco publicly took years.

I don't know that Bode has "mythical" status here. There's plenty of people who don't know who he is. It's ski racing afterall. In terms of "being known", you're right in that he's known for his failures as much as his wins. The thing is if he'd won more, he'd be more known.  He's also been around a long time. Nearly 15 years.

He's always been the way he's been I guess. At CVA he crashed and dnf'd all over the place.

 

Maier electrified the sport. He pretty much redefined "going for it" and athletic power in racing. It was a modern Franz Klammer 1976 Olympics. The accident in summer '01 prevented him from being in the Salt Lake Olympics which would've increased exposure in the US. It was also at the height of his skiing. Coming back from that was pretty major.


Agreed T-man, absolutely, if he had won more, he'd be more well-known. Though for a man who did not win , his arrival electrifies, think Klammer, his illustrious predecessor nailed it.

 

Maier's comebacks are for the ages. No question, man is an athletic powerhouse with resilience made from Tony Stark's lab!

post #21 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by dustyfog View PostThough for a man who did not win ,

:confused I was under the impression he had won quite a bit compared to  other male US ski racers who came before him.

post #22 of 25


Ghost? It's relative to Maier, Cuche, and so on..whatever dude. 

post #23 of 25

I'm a Bode fan, and I'll be clear on that. I first met him when he was about six. I know at least a dozen guys who've coached him {or perhaps more accurately tried working on the hill with him…he coaches himself and always has to a large degree}, and I know a lot of people who have been involved with his multitude of equipment set-ups over the years, including a lot of Bode's unconventional ideas. The guy is one of a kind. He's a simply amazing athlete. You name any sport, and he could have been right at the top. No doubt in my mind. Well, maybe not the NBA. He's not just bright, and a quick study, he's unconventionally genius. There are things that matter a great deal to him, and others that just don't. He's unique. And like anybody who was pretty much world class at 17, he's a different guy, in a different body, at age 37. Different life, in every way. 

 

I try to not get caught up in this chatter about not trying, not caring, and could have done more. I don't buy it. Nobody who's ever seen Bode work out off season with his uncle Mike could imagine a skier working harder. His accomplishments, to me, are exceptional:

 

-136 consecutive WC starts. 2002-2006. EVERY single start, in every discipline, o the mens WC calendar. That will never be touched. Nuts. 

-33 WC wins. What's impressive is that he's won in all five disciplines.

-2 WC overall globes

-6 WC discipline globes

-6 Olympic medals, in four separate disciplines

-4 World Championship medals

 

Pretty exceptional stuff. Ligety needs nine wins to tie him, but they'll be all GS wins, and maybe a combined or two. I'm sure that he'll blow through that 33 win mark. He's already blown by Bode in the WC medals, and he has two Olympic medals. Ted will never win an overall WC globe. And as far as that consecutive starts mark, I don't think we'll see anybody ski even every event in a single season again. Certainly nobody with a chance of winning. 

 

So yeah, Bode is unconventional, with some tremendous results. There's clearly always going to be an argument that he's the best US alpine skier ever. I put Maier on a much higher plateau, though. 4 WC overall globes, 50+ WC wins, 4 Olympic medals, 6 World Champs medals. Absolutely dominant in three events. And essentially came into the sport as SL was changing so much. Hard to race DH, and be a top seed SL skier. Bode is an exception. And of course the motorcycle accident, which really impacted his career. I don't get hung up on the PED discussion. Nor do I with any of the sports current guys. I kind of like Bode's position that people should be able to use whatever they want to for equipment, and for PED's. Bode's clean, I'm sure, but he's always said that if something like HGH helps you heal, why not make it legal? Yep, different view. 

 

People close to Bode could tell you hundreds of stories. Unconventional, stubborn, brilliant, introspective, for sure. Also driven, hardworking, demanding and a perfectionist. Honest, genuine. Nothing phony about him. I don't think that you'd hear about him being lazy. I do think that you'd hear that there are some things that he just doesn't care about…..or didn't. Not on his radar screen. One was his public persona, and the media. As a pro athlete, it probably would have been a lot "better" if he's listened to some of his handlers, and cultivated things a bit differently. But, that's not him He's 180 degrees opposed to Lindsey Vonn and Julia Mancuso, and even Ligety and Hirscher in that regard. Though I believe that he's changed there, a bit. I think his wife is sharp as a tack, and just a great partner for him.

 

If Bode had done it differently, could there have been more podiums, and maybe more wins? I think so, but it would not have been the same. The guy changed the sport forever. He was an innovator. I remember vividly watching him training those first days, and racing on the K2 four. His coach has huge doubts, until he checked the clock. Bode had intellectually figured out that ski shape would be a game changer, based on hours watching friends carve race turns on their long snowboards. He was so dialed into how his equipment worked, and almost like a mad scientist in fiddling with it. It clicked. When he was about 16, a coach told me to watch him from the knees down, to watch his skis and his line, and to not worry about "anything else that's going on, as that part is all over the place!" Pretty interesting in retrospect. Even more interesting after the skis changed forever a couple of years later. 

 

We hear a lot that Bode's content, "at peace", happy, etc. I also hear chatter that he thinks he still has a lot of gas in the tank, and that we may well see him again, should he decide to go all in. I'm 100% confident that it will be done without a lot of fanfare, if it happens. Unique guy. Probably wishes he could take a mulligan on a few things, but wouldn't have changed much.

 

The talk of his desire to help the upcoming younger generation of USST athletes is interesting. I doubt if he'd open that conversation were he not serious, and if he put his mind and energy into something, it can yield results. We'll see. I think Tiger Shaw and Sasha Rearick are open to a lot of out of the box thinking, which, IMO, is a big plus. 


Edited by Muleski - 6/25/15 at 1:35pm
post #24 of 25


Muleski - that was quite a life-story outline, thanks much. Recently finished reading "The Fall Line" , Nathaniel Vinton's ode to modern skiing though mostly about Americans, and Bode and Vonn in particular. You just added to that volume of insightful knowledge, very cool. 

post #25 of 25
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