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Sour Grapes...Phil Mahre re: Bode - Page 2

post #31 of 57

A string of Bode Quotes

From SkiRacing.com

The following are quotes gathered on and around March 12, 2005, the day that Bode Miller became the first U.S. skier to win the World Cup overall title in 22 years:

""The Olympics are important, but it depends on what you want to accomplish. If you're looking for mass recognition, the Olympics are the most important, especially in the U.S. If I'm looking to prove that I'm the best ski racer in the world, I feel I've done that...For me, the Olympics are important, because of what they represent. But the more I know about the Olympics, the less I feel it represents what it claims."
-Bode Miller, asked about his plans for next season.

"It was a great day. Everything just fell into position for him. After the super G was over it was a done deal. But he could have had it sewn up in February if he had changed his tactics. With his approach that's what you're going to get. He skis all out, but there's a difference between being all out and being all-out and on the right line."
-Phil Mahre, the last American man to win the overall (in 1983)

"The way he brings the pressure into the hill is fantastic. He is tall. He is strong. He is not always in the correct position...He was a class better than all the rest of the field. He’ s a great overall winner. There's no question."
—Former Austrian ski great Toni Sailer, who won three golds at the 1956 Olympics in Cortina d'Ampezzo.

"The kid, you just watch him. He makes so many mistakes but he just, hauls, ass."
-Daron Rahlves, Miller's teammate and the holder of twice as many speed-event World Cup wins

"All I can say is that I wouldn't like to be his coach or trainer."
-International Ski Federation President Gian Franco Kasper

"He seemed to be a person from when he was born. I've seen a lot of births, I was in medical school for two years and his mother was a midwife, and when he was born, when his head was the only thing out, his eyes were open and he looked like he was very aware of what was going on. That's the way he's seemed his whole life. If I'd just been pushed through a birth canal I'd be looking pretty ragged but he was calm."
-Bode's father Woody Miller, on his son's birth

"After winning the super G, he was just sitting in the RV reading."
-Jake Sereno, the driver and cook in Miller's motorhome, and a childhood friend

"I'm proud of Bode. He's had a great season. It would have been a shame if he'd let it slip away at the end, and he was definitely capable of that. I've been talking to my brother about a couple of months now about how he could conceivably win the overall and set the record for the most DNFs." —Woody Miller on his son's track record this season.

"It's definitely been blown out of proportion and I don't do anything to try and prevent that or lessen it because I feel it's a waste of my energy. I've very rarely in my whole career have gotten really drunk the night before a race because it's clearly not an effective way to ski well or ski safely. But I also don't need a huge amount of sleep the way some people do. I prefer to stay out later, have a few beers as opposed to getting totally sloshed, and then getting up and racing the next day is no problem for me."
-Bode Miller on talk about his late-night partying.

"There are a lot of things sucking my will to make that push right now. It's going to be a matter if I can re-motivate myself. I'm using a lot of beer to do that, and I hope it works."
-Bode Miller speaking about the Olympics in the press conference after winning the globe.

"It's important that kids have full freedom to use their imagination. That's one of the most important attributes of human nature — it gets stunted as you get older, as evidenced by the questions I get from the press."
-Bode Miller on child-rearing

"You have to be on the top if you want to talk. When you do something in the finish with the fans, like I did, people like it."
-Former overall winner Alberto Tomba

"He likes to win or go out. He doesn't like finishing third or eighth place." -Alberto Tomba

"Now that he's good for super-G and downhill, maybe he's lost something in slalom. I think he's the only one now who can win in slalom and downhill."
— Alberto Tomba

"The way he skis, if he always finished he would win every race. He does what everybody can't do. When I saw him win all the races, I felt inspired. I thought maybe I could do it. He's good for the World Cup, he's a great character. I think when people are in a restaurant and he's skiing everyone stops to watch. And I like him, he's a great guy."
— Women's overall leader Anja Paerson, of Sweden, who joined Miller this season as two of only four skiers to win races in each of the four Alpine disciplines in one winter.

"He has a lot of fans in Austria and also here in Switzerland, so that's not a problem for him. America is very far away and skiing is not so popular, so you have to work very hard at skiing. It will become popular in America."
— Austrian overall rival Benjamin Raich.

"With that kind of push in the beginning of the season, I was just setting myself up for a really, really intense two months," Miller said. "At the end of the day, you have to make sure you're at least listening to what your head is telling you, what your heart is telling you. That's hard to do when there are a million other people shouting as loud as they can."
-Bode Miller, on winning the first three races of the season.

"He's a good guy, good for the sport. Many things about him at first you might think are silly, but in the end you figure out he's a pretty smart guy. I admire his relaxed attitude. He paid me a nice compliment (earlier in the season) and it inspired me."
— Saturday's giant slalom race winner Stephan Goergl, of Austria.

"What I see from him is consistency. He's consistently contending, consistently on the podium."
— USST skier Lindsey Kildow.

"I don't like the lifestyle so much as far as being a spectacle. I don't feel anything I do deserve to be a spectacle. And it only leads to bad things for me. — Bode Miller.

"Some of them I probably would like. Some of my fans probably beat their wives or run over little kids and they just happen to watch me on TV and like the way I ski. Obviously I clearly wouldn't like that person if I knew 'em better." — Bode Miller on his ongoing feud with fans.

"In this country it's different because people think it's all about the Olympics. But the Olympics just happen to interrupt our WC schedule for two weeks. It's only a one-day test. The WC overall, you have to be good all year.” — Phil Mahre, former USST star and three-time overall globe winner, on the importance of the overall World Cup title.
post #32 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by newfydog
"It was a great day. Everything just fell into position for him. After the super G was over it was a done deal. But he could have had it sewn up in February if he had changed his tactics. With his approach that's what you're going to get. He skis all out, but there's a difference between being all out and being all-out and on the right line."
-Phil Mahre, the last American man to win the overall (in 1983)

"The kid, you just watch him. He makes so many mistakes but he just, hauls, ass."
-Daron Rahlves, Miller's teammate and the holder of twice as many speed-event World Cup wins

"All I can say is that I wouldn't like to be his coach or trainer."
-International Ski Federation President Gian Franco Kasper

"I'm proud of Bode. He's had a great season. It would have been a shame if he'd let it slip away at the end, and he was definitely capable of that. I've been talking to my brother about a couple of months now about how he could conceivably win the overall and set the record for the most DNFs." —Woody Miller on his son's track record this season.
If you look at the above quotes carefully, they really support my previous contention. To win the World Cup, it is consistency that matters. This is an award for the best skier of the year, not one race.

And DNF/DSQ's don't get points. You have to go fast enough to win, but not to blow out.

My prediction for Bode at the Olympics? Two Golds and two DNF's. And thanks to the DNF's no overall.

Too bad we don't have a skier with Miller's talent and Mahre's discipline. You would be looking without a doubt at the greatest skier ever.
post #33 of 57
Thread Starter 
In my opinion, the best quotes come from Alberto Tomba, Ana Pearson, Stephan Goergl and Benjamin Raich. Isn't that sad? They show much more class than some of the "American" comments. I am not even considering Bode's quotes, as they are not relevant to this discussion. Viking, I completely disagree with your comments (respectfully).
post #34 of 57
[quote=Captain_Strato]Phil was unquestionably the greatest skier of his generation, and he may have more top podium finishes than Bode when it's all over.

One thing about Mahre that no one has brought up is that he stuck with K-2 all those years. I don't know who made his GS skis for him, but I doubt it was K-2. Their slaloms were good, but the couldn't make a decent GS for public consumption, so how could they have had top-notch race stock? Bode has come into his own since switching to the best speed skis available. What might Phil have accomplished if he had looked for the best skis on the market? Any of you old racers know more about what went on in that era? Was Phil really skiing on a rebadged GS? (Even if he was, he wouldn't have had the best of the best available to him. No manufacturer is going to let it's best skis be used, rebadged, by the competition.) LewBob
post #35 of 57
[quote=LewBob]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain_Strato
I don't know who made his GS skis for him, but I doubt it was K-2. Any of you old racers know more about what went on in that era? LewBob
I remember him saying K2 gave him great service, and that they made up whatever he wanted on short notice. He couldn't believe the whole team wasn't on K2.

I tried a pair of Tiger Shaw's US Team issue K2s sometime back then and found them to be very good, but not mind blowing.
post #36 of 57
Newfydog: Great job on compliling those quotes! Interesting stuff. It provides a broader context for all that's been said on this thread, and others.
post #37 of 57
atomic made some of the DH boards for K2(not all but some) and PRE i'm pretty sure the GS boards were K2 race room production(remember the cool little stickers)
post #38 of 57
If K2 made the GS they would have been torsion-box, which never worked well for GS that I know of. Again, I am no expert, but I thought all of the good GS and Downhill skis of that era (and most of this, don't know if Salomon's are really cap)) were metal laminate sandwich constuction. LewBob
post #39 of 57

whtmt

Who cares what the implications are of statements made by anyone!!!

Can't we just show our gracious congratulations for a very remarkable US Ski Racer??? Bode hasn't compared himself to others, he's just trying to do the best he can in every race he enters. Only history will tell what his place may be, but let's just be happy for the moment. Remember, ski racing is only a series of moments.

Personally, I remember fondly the winning days of Billy Kidd & Jimmy Heuga. Their lone accomplishments were remarkable in the very fierce world of ski racing at the time, which was driven by the Austrians & French. Until the Mahres', US ski racers were not well respected in Europe at all. They made us all proud as well as Billy & Jimmy. Now it's Bode's turn. Be respectfully happy or say nothing at all. Keep in mind, it's not you on those podiums!!!!

whtmt & Mackenzie 911
post #40 of 57

Way too hard on Bode

Depak Chopra talks about America being a very technical, demanding and critical society. I would agree. I think everyone has been way too hard on Bode. He won the Overall and the SuperG titles, placing second in GS and very well in DH. But, he won the Overall. The comments from his peers, fellow WC racers, indicate a lot of respect for the guy. So what if he goes balls to the wall? That's what ski racing is all about. If you don't try to be the fastest, somebody else will. Besides, it has been Bode's consistent practice to try and be the fastest in each race. That is his development goal. And, he is achieving it!

So a lot of folks criticize him for not strategizing about points. But, the issue is: he's there--he's done it--he's won it. And, to be honest, none of us really nows what the hell we're talking about. If you listen to him talk about racing, he knows all the hills and pistes by now. He knows how to ski them. He is bright, physcially talented, and has grown as a skier over the years. He is also the lone American threat for the Overall facing what the Austrians call their OSV-Armada. This is a very formidable group. And he's faced them down. He's also had hyper-aggressive challenges each race from the Italians. Way to go Bode!! Crank it up for next year!!!
post #41 of 57
I really don't think Mahre is sour , if you listen to any athlete re: their sport they are more critical and factual about the sport, others in the sport and themselves. These guys are in a different class than the rest of us , comments like Mahres are going to be taken in a different light by WC racers than the rest of the skiing public . They are used to criticism and comments from others within the group , some feed off the banter, step it up a notch , and then take their place on the podium. A person would be hard pressed to think that Mahre is not happy for Miller . Being WC himself gives him a whole different view of whats going on , after all he's been there unlike the rest of us week end warriors that at times have only dreamt of it.
post #42 of 57
Let's see...Bode Miller won the globe for the WC all-around. That says it all. He's the best.

People (x-racers or not) who try to detract from or denigrate Miller's victory are being petty. No matter how you slice it, Mahre's comments smack of sour grapes. Marhre should emulate Mark Spitz. When Michael Phelps was positioned to take as many gold medals as Spitz, Spitz encouraged Phelps. He rooted for him. Spitz was a class act. Mahre needs to take a lesson.
post #43 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by cloudpeak
... No matter how you slice it, Mahre's comments smack of sour grapes...
I don't agree, Cloud, not at all.

There may be mutual enmity, but I don't think Mahre really feels threatened at all. The reason Mahre was even interviewed with respect to Bode's accomplishment is obvious -- last American overall WCer, 3-time winner, etc. Plus, Phil always seems happy to comment on Bode, which we should be grateful for.

I think the real animus you're seeing in Mahre is something far more complex than sour grapes. I think it's partly a respect issue. Bode should go visit the godfather sometime in Yakima and pay his respects. But more importantly, I also think Mahre has a genuine, demonstrable concern about the sport's health in America -- after all, has he ever really got the respect he deserves? He wants to see American skiers win bigger, and he feels Bode is already not quite living up to what he COULD do. The more Bode wins, the better Mahre's legacy looks. It sounds paradoxical, but that's my opinion -- Bode being a superstar spills light onto the legacies of all American ski superstars, it doesn't eclipse them.
post #44 of 57

Not sour grapes

Mahre's comment sounds as though it was directed at Bode's attitude rather than his skiing ability. I think he's saying that you'd think a guy skiing for Team USA would back off and make sure he pulled in the victory for himself and the team when he had the chance. He then stated that isn't Bode's style, which it isn't.

Based on the persona he puts forth, Bode would have been disappointed if he hadn't achieved the WC Overall, but he wouldn't have been devastated like the team. This win meant a lot to Team USA. However, Bode skis for Bode- he's content to give it his all and let the chips fall where they may.

...at least that was his attitude before becoming #1... now there's no where to go but... another venue??
post #45 of 57
I find the K2 - Mahre - GS ski question an interesting point.
Afaik, at K2 they had been desperately trying to make a torsion box GS (public) ski for about 15 years and they finally gave it up in the early 90s with the "metal laminate".
An even bigger problem must have been with the DH skis which were necessary for Phil to achieve his 11 combined victories.

There might be a parallel to this in Stenmark and Elan. They also were not the best skis when he started to win on them in 1974 but he also never changed the brand even if he (must have) had incomparable offers from all sides.
(Stenmark used only one pair of 205 cm skis for both SL and GS till the beginning of 1977 and won his first overall WC on them! "It took all my efforts to pursuade him to change for a 210 cm GS with a different construction," his coach Hermann Nogler writes.)

Back to Bode. The necessity to have the best possible DH/SG ski must have played a role in his change from K2 to Fischer in 2000. At least that´s what he told me in St. Anton 2001 when I asked him about the change.

Phil Mahre sticking to US skis (whoever may have made them) surely was a patriotic feat or at least it seems so.
post #46 of 57
K2 was a lot higher-profile in the racing world generally in the '70s than they are now. The brand is mentioned by name as a good one in "How the Racers Ski." People with good memories may recall that Killy skied on K2s for at least part of his brief pro-racing career. Actually, K2 is higher-profile in the sub-WC level now than I think a lot of people realize. They participate at the level where the cost of playing is free skis and stuff, but don't when you get into the fees required to join a pool.

The analysis of construction techniques is more nit-picky than the real world, I think. Good racing skis can be made with a variety of construction techniques.

Weren't the classic Dynamic racing skis (VR7, VR17) torsion-box? They were among the most successful racing skis of their era. Up through the '70s and into the '80s skis were much less specialized by discipline than now. Many people used the same model ski for SL and GS. They'd just be a tad shorter for slalom, and the afficianadi would go through a stack and flex them, picking the "right" ones for each event. Dyanmics, incidentally, used to come stamped with flex numbers.
post #47 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by sjjohnston
K2 was a lot higher-profile in the racing world generally in the '70s than they are now. The brand is mentioned by name as a good one in "How the Racers Ski." People with good memories may recall that Killy skied on K2s for at least part of his brief pro-racing career. Actually, K2 is higher-profile in the sub-WC level now than I think a lot of people realize. They participate at the level where the cost of playing is free skis and stuff, but don't when you get into the fees required to join a pool.

The analysis of construction techniques is more nit-picky than the real world, I think. Good racing skis can be made with a variety of construction techniques.

Weren't the classic Dynamic racing skis (VR7, VR17) torsion-box? They were among the most successful racing skis of their era. Up through the '70s and into the '80s skis were much less specialized by discipline than now. Many people used the same model ski for SL and GS. They'd just be a tad shorter for slalom, and the afficianadi would go through a stack and flex them, picking the "right" ones for each event. Dyanmics, incidentally, used to come stamped with flex numbers.
Agreed.
There were no official imports of K2 to Czechoslovakia and the 710 and 810 we saw the Mahres had were something like a secret dream for us. Not to speak about the veterans who tried the old "fours" which appeared in a few pairs in the early 70s (I was one of them and the memory of their unsurpassed grip stayed with me till the new shaped skis wrote a new chapter in ski characteristics).
I think K2 lost their race image as late as in the early 90s when they detuned their (retail) slalom skis somewhat and almost disappeared from international alpine racing.

I also agree that the SL-GS differences were not so big (cf. my previous post about Stenmark). A also used to have Rossignol ST Competitions for both: 203 cm for SL and 207 cm for GS. They were not very fast skis but I preferred them over SM because of grip on mostly tight and icy courses in small Czech mountains.
post #48 of 57
I love all of those Bode quotes. He's so impolitic...so true to himself...so unimpressed by the superficial, the expectations and the way things are *supposed* to be.

"I've very rarely in my whole career have gotten really drunk the night before a race because it's clearly not an effective way to ski well or ski safely."

Words to live by. What a guy.
post #49 of 57
Let's not forget Walchofer took the DH title and
Raich the GS & SL title!!!! And he finished every single run & race the entire season. Wow!!!

In my book Bode might be the fastest, but Raich is the Best!
post #50 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Atomicman
....In my book Bode might be the fastest, but Raich is the Best!
Isn't the point of racing to be the fastest?
post #51 of 57
yeah, I stand corrected, Bode is many times the fastest when he finishes.

It does seem a little odd he only won the SG title and gets the overall. Maybe the points sytem has something to be desired.
post #52 of 57
Looking where Bode fit in there behind Raich in the GS points and on the downhill standings, I'd say the Overall points calculation is pretty good as it is.
post #53 of 57
A racer often doesn´t win a discipline with 500 points "only".
If he/she - theoretically - collected 500 in each discipline he/she might not win any but collect the fabulous 2000 overall points.

As I already remembered in some other thread there was Peter Luscher winning the overall WC in 1979 with one SL victory only (plus 2 combined, to be precise).

Otoh, no points system is perfect.
post #54 of 57
I think everyone is being too sensitive with regards to Phil's comments. He was speaking the TRUTH, Bode is a loose canon, and he could have sewn this up some time ago. Harnessing his greatness and limiting his weeknesses is what will allow him to surpass Mahre and Stennie, not being a "loose cannon". That same energy that brings him greatness can cause problems and his coaches and Phil know this. The rest of us are just onlookers!
post #55 of 57
Bode skied every run of every race to win or ski out. He never left the starting house once all season or took a single gate calculating his percentages toward winning the overall. Bless him.

Loose cannon? I guess he is. A coaches' and sponsors' ulcer? You bet. Three cheers.
post #56 of 57
Does Phil Mahre even ski recreationally anymore? I remember a story in 'Ski' or 'Skiing' a few years ago wherein they brought a diverse mix of top skiers to Whistler: Gordy Pfeifer and others including Phil, apparently the terrain was too much for Mahre, he crahed and injured himself, ending his skiing at Whistler.
post #57 of 57
If Bode was concerned with what everyone thought and conformed to society and how people believe he should act, he wouldn't be Bode. He's got the courage to stand up for his beliefs, that alone makes him a winner.
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