"Did you know he was a bricklayer, and not even on the Austrian team until the age of 23? He just kept fighting, never gave up, and eventually made it."
Hermann was a top junior ski racer in Austria at an early age. He was at a top ski racing academy. He had to quit because of knee problems (overtraining/Osgood-Schlotters disease). In 1995 he was 18th in Austrian National GS, but not named to national team, probably because of politics. His coming out of nowhere is mostly a myth created by the press, the real story is the Austrian coaches thought he was too old. Marc Giradelli (46 World cup wins) is another Austrian who never made the Austria national team.
Bode is incredibly gifted athlete who is still learning to ski speed events. His line/tactics are the most aggressive (some would say erratic) on the World cup. He doesn't back it off a notch and go slow. Also he's a 4 event skier. I don't think you can be considered the best ski racer if your not competive in all four events.
Quote below fromhttp://www.skiracing.com/profiles/ne.../newsArticles/
"Miller's arrival is perhaps best summed up by the words of the most decorated Olympic and world championship skier of all time, Kjetil Andre Aamodt of Norway, after Miller gobbled up all but 0.28 seconds of the Norwegian's 2.44-second lead in the final run of slalom in the 2002 Olympic combined. "I've never seen anyone ski so fast in my life," said Aamodt, who knows a new path being cut when he sees it."
Quotes and results below from www.usskiteam.com
"VAL D'ISERE, France (Dec. 15) - Bode Miller (Franconia, NH), in his first tech race in three weeks, battled his way through a snowstorm Sunday to finish second in a World Cup giant slalom behind Swiss great Michael Von Gruenigen, who's finished every GS run since 1994."
"FIS ALPINE WORLD CUP
Criterium des Neiges
Val d'Isere, FRA – Dec. 15
1. Michael Von Gruenigen, Switzerland, 2:26.46
2. Bode Miller, Franconia, NH, 2:26.57
3. Christoph Gruber, Austria, 2:26.89
4. Joel Chenal, France, 2:26.91
5. Arnold Rieder, Austria, 2:27.09
World Cup Standings (9 races)
1. Stephan Eberharter, Austria, 548 points
2. Kjetil Andre Aamodt, Norway, 302
3. Didier Cuche, Switzerland, 286
4. Miller, 281
5. Von Gruenigen, 260"
"DH Standings (3 races)
1. Eberharter, 300
2. Aamodt, 141
3. Trinkl, 132
4. Michael Walchhofer, Austria, 128
5. Kroell, 124
8. Miller, 80
9. Rahlves, 77
20. Sullivan, 40
31. Fiala, 13
Saturday, December 14, 2002"