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Bodi to quit US ski team

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Two-Time Olympic Silver Medalist Miller Leaves U.S. Ski Team

By Dan Bollerman

May 12 (Bloomberg) -- Bode Miller, who was the 2005 World Cup overall champion and won two Olympic silver medals in 2002, quit the U.S. ski team and will compete independently next season.

Miller, a three-time Olympian and member of the U.S. Alpine team for 11 years, said in an e-mailed statement sent by his agent, Lowell Taub, that he rejected ``non-negotiable terms'' offered by the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association that would govern him ``differently and more onerously than his teammates.''

``I do not believe I can excel and perform at the level I demand of myself under the guidelines the U.S. Ski Team has presented,'' Miller said. ``I will continue to ski as an American under the U.S. flag and am proud to do so.''

He'll make his own travel and training arrangements, although the U.S. team will enter him in races.

Taub didn't immediately respond to a voice-mail message seeking further comment.

U.S. team spokesman Tom Kelly said in a telephone interview that the 29-year-old Miller told men's coach Phil McNichol of the decision, which was ``very amicable as far as we're concerned.'' Miller met with federation officials at its headquarters in Park City, Utah, earlier this week.

``We hope he will continue to have athletic success,'' U.S. Alpine Director Jesse Hunt said in a statement. ``We had a serious discussion with Bode about his responsibilities as a team member, and he later advised us he was choosing to not join the team.''

Olympic Disappointment

Miller, the reigning World Cup super-giant slalom champion, failed to earn a medal in five races at last year's Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy, after winning two silvers at the 2002 games in Salt Lake City.

The top-ranked male skier in 2005 and the first American to win the overall World Cup title in more than 20 years, Miller finished just two of his five races in the Turin games.

Miller, criticized in the weeks before the Olympics for saying he sometimes skied after drinking, finished fifth in the downhill, then was disqualified in the combined for missing a gate while leading. After going off course in the super-giant slalom, he tied for sixth in the giant slalom and missed a gate early in the slalom.

His 25 World Cup wins are two short of the U.S. record held by Phil Mahre.

Kristina Koznick competed independently for several years after leaving the U.S. team in 2000, making the Olympic teams in 2002 and 2006 before retiring.

The 2007-08 season starts Oct. 27 in Soelden, Austria.
post #2 of 2
Thread Starter 
Did not see post on same subject in Racing News forum. My bad.
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