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Bode Miller Wins Second Overall World Cup Ski Title - Page 2

post #31 of 45
The USST has done alright for itself this season. I'm glad to see Bode succeed, but the team didn't do bad either...

Maybe this will be a win/ win situation. The team develops athletes and those that have talent but can't conform to the team atmosphere are free to put there own team+sponsors together and have at it.
post #32 of 45
I was thinking the same thing.
You can't just dismiss Ligety's Cup in the GS, it's a big achievement.
Topped by Bode's for sure, but still, not a small feat at all!
post #33 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Schussboelie View Post
I was thinking the same thing.
You can't just dismiss Ligety's Cup in the GS, it's a big achievement.
Topped by Bode's for sure, but still, not a small feat at all!
...err, I was thinking Lindsey Vonn and her Overall + Ligety's GS title + individual race wins by multiple racers. Not too shabby.
post #34 of 45
All kidding aside, I agree too. Bode, Ghiradelli, (Jelena) Kostelic these are unique skiers. Not many who could win a World Cup away from a big national team structure (and not many who could afford the cost). Yes, the USST is doing OK, with Vonn, Mancuso, Ligety, et al. And it's not like Miller got where he is on his own either.

Maybe Bode got off easy with the DH cancellation. He really didn't ski well most of the weekend (OK, he did have a great first run in GS, but he looked like s*** in SG), and Cuche still had some gas in the tank. Looks like the Austrians have reloaded once again. Hirscher appears to be the real thing. Nice results from the Slovenes all of a sudden. And did anyone see Grange ripping it up in GS? Not bad.

I'll miss our time together, now that racing season is over. Cheers, Prickly.
post #35 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by prickly View Post
All kidding aside, I agree too. Bode, Ghiradelli, (Jelena) Kostelic these are unique skiers. Not many who could win a World Cup away from a big national team structure (and not many who could afford the cost). Yes, the USST is doing OK, with Vonn, Mancuso, Ligety, et al. And it's not like Miller got where he is on his own either.
The thing is, the USST is still mismanaged. Vonn and Mancuso (and Stiegler, to a great extent) are almost an island unto themselves in the womens' team. They're also strong, independent-minded racers who, while they "play well with others," know how to work in their own idiom.

As far as the mens team goes, hats of to Ligety for remaining healthy for the season, as well as for picking up the mantel of "team leader" this year in Bode's absence. He was strong throughout the season, from beginning to end, and that shows a lot of emotional maturity and focus. He knew when to dial it back, when to conserve energy to make it through the whole season and finish strong.

The same can't be said for the speed team. Yes, there were wins and high placings from numerous members of the team, but there was also a lot of overwork of the boys, from what I can tell. Keeping Scotty Mac out of the picture, there were injuries and overall fatigue. Nyman had a back injury that forced him to miss races and that hasn't yet healed. Marco Sullivan was strong in the middle of the season, but looked absolutely worn out by Kvitfjell.

And that used to be Bode's problem under the USST system: he'd flare out by February, and would ski exhausted. This year, he's been consistently building all year. It's a new training regimen, a new philosophy, and one that's likely very different from what the USST offered in their "one size fits all" system. And Bode's no dummy: he knew where the weak spots were in his program, and he hired the people he knew would be able to take him that extra step.

Quote:
Originally Posted by prickly View Post
Maybe Bode got off easy with the DH cancellation. He really didn't ski well most of the weekend (OK, he did have a great first run in GS, but he looked like s*** in SG), and Cuche still had some gas in the tank.
Sure, Cuche looked stronger - I'd say he's still a step or two more fit than Bode. He also skis in a much more efficient way than Bode, and that saves a lot of energy (as does not having to train SL).

Another thing that hindered Bode - especially in the recent SG races - is his fondness for overly-stiff skis. On hard snow, the stiffness is an asset to Bode's style, but in softer spring conditions, they're too much for the snow. Miller has tested some softer ski builds from Head in the past few weeks, but his favorite race skis are the stiff, unforgiving ones. In the last two SG races, the stiff boards were a liability and threw Bode off as he couldn't work the turns in his usual way.

I think that today's first run saw Bode on some of his newer, softer GS boards, and he really aced that run. And who knows what he'll do in SL, given he's got a whole new quiver of SL skis that he likes (according to McBride's blog).
post #36 of 45
I am not a follower of World Cup skiing (though I like it when I've seen it), but this is the sort of thing that makes me enthusiastic (I thought it deserved yet another posting):

post #37 of 45
Some developments in the Team America and USST camps:

- Johno McBride and (likely) Mike Kenney resigning from Team America due to family needs.
- Phil McNichol resigns as head mens coach of USST. And even though Patrick Riml (head womens coach) is the most likely replacement, McNichol would prefer an American coach to replace him.

Read more here.

And it remains to be seen whether Bode will return to defend his title. While McBride says Bode knows what to do, it seems that Bode wants a head coach. At any rate, he's not committing to defending his overall title next season
post #38 of 45
I guess it's a win-win for Bode fans. He won the over all, so he and they can't be too dissapointed. Indeed they have cause for celebrations. He really wants the DH title, so he will likely be back next year. I predict he will concentrate on the DH next year.
post #39 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by songfta View Post
Read more here.
Quite a different take in the Reuters piece.

http://www.reuters.com/article/sport...36925720080315
post #40 of 45
Congratulations are certainly in order to Bode for winning the Over-All Men's World Cup and Men's combined. Congratulations to Lindsey Vonn for her Over-All Women's World Cup and to Ted Ligety for winning the GS cup. USST issues aside, its great to see American skiers doing so well along with athletes from countries along with perennial powerhouse, Austria.

It is also good to see for a change multiple ski brands on podiums so often this season since it costs them each a lot of $ to support their athletes and the program. The diversification of top skiers and equipment is a healthy thing for the sport.
post #41 of 45
Quote:
Originally Posted by Garrett View Post
Quite a different take in the Reuters piece.

http://www.reuters.com/article/sport...36925720080315
.... and Steve Porino, reporting for WCSN, gets the word from McBride, himself.

I think I'd trust Porino's interview more than the Reuters report - especially considering that McBride calls the Reuters report patently false.
post #42 of 45
If this same story were coming from inside the beltway, and someone reportedly sent home was now claiming they were actually just leaving to "spend more time with their family", you'd only believe it if you were incredibly naïve.

Is it possible Bode made a rash decision and backtracked after the Reuters article?
post #43 of 45
That picture makes me smile. Go bode!
post #44 of 45
Body Miller makes one think.
post #45 of 45

The part I thought was especially ironic...

...was in the WCSN telecast of the 2008 US Nationals, where Bill Marolt made a big deal out of how "we" won 5 crystal globes. I think Bode did the right thing...for Bode...and Vonn, Mancuso, and others manage to succeed within the USST structure...although there are rumours that Vonn and Ligety are going to join Team America. Regardless, I think ski racing is in store for some major changes, to whit:

- Ski racing, at least in terms of TV coverage and the attendant $$$ stream, is clearly second fiddle to skier cross, jibbing, and all the other variants of that stuff. The FIS went through some incredibly naive postulations about what it would take to get youth interested in racing again. I have no doubt that today's crop of young (and not so young) racers do it for love of sport. However, if it costs you $40,000 a year just to be a B team member on the USST (which is what happened to some of our athletes this year)...and this in spite of the fact that the USST has a budget of around $15 million a year, Marolt makes something like $600,000 a year, and the USST just spent megamillions on a complex in Park City...well, maybe you'll be forced to think about switching to another venue, such as but not limited to skiercross. Similarly, if Shaun White can actually have a career, make millions in his sport...what is there to incent the young ski racer, especially when he or she is expected to forgo college to make the USST?

So ski racing clearly need an injection of plain old $$$$, and it has to come in at the lower levels to help support racers during their formative years, and to give them an actual career path...which is the way it works in Europe.

- Similarly, the hard goods manufacturers...skis, bindings, boots...made a pitch to the FIS saying that things would have to change, or they wouldn't be able to provide the support for ski racing that they currently do. The major manufacturers cough up an incredible amount of money in product, service, and associated costs (e. g., travel)...and all they can hope for is some winning athletes and better ski or binding or boot sales the next season. There wouldn't be any ski racing without the support these major players provide, and there needs to be another way for them to get revenue out of racing. The factory team concept, where they sign racers, pay their expenses, but perhaps get a share of their winnings and endorsements, might be a way to go....or perhaps private teams. The FIS, of course, doesn't see the problem.

- The WC schedule is a mess, and everybody knows it. The same is kind of true for the domestic North American schedule. There are too many races, it's expensive, travel intensive, and there are few guarantees (the major North American venues, such as Beaver Creek, being as close as you'll often get), that the races are actually going to be held as scheduled. Apparently, Atle Skaardal, who ought to know, and others have brought this to the attention of the FIS. Result: absolutely nothing.

- The USST structure is there, as with most major corporations, to ensure that the USST prospers. The athletes on the team are clearly the instruments of the USST policy, not the prime focus. Read through Phil McNichol's recent interview in Ski Racing, if you don't believe me.

All of this, and more, has to stop for ski racing to survive, let alone prosper. I think it will, I just don't know how. There was an interesting article in Ski Racing earlier this season that talked about all the problems facing ski racing, including but not limited to the above, plus global warming. The article basically concluded that ski racing would continue somehow, because it's a truly great sport, and there will always be participants, fans, and helper bees passionate about ski racing...but in exactly what form, isn't clear as of yet.

I agree, and I say it's time for change...the sooner the better, and if whatever change doesn't produce the perfect results, then let's try something else. The idea is, as Ken Kesey said, to stop going through the same door...
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