Miller says he won’t ski another Olympics
BRETTON WOODS, N.H. ” Even if he still is skiing World Cup in 2010, Bode Miller says he won’t be skiing in another Olympics, not after his “terrible” experience in the last one.
“It’s highly doubtful that I’ll be racing in 2010,” America’s top skier said in an interview Friday, “and even if I am racing in World Cup, I wouldn’t go (to the Olympics).
“There’s too much emphasis on winning,” he said during an appearance at BodeFest, a charity ski event that raises money for his Turtle Ridge Foundation, a non-profit that concentrates on adaptive skiing for kids and adults with disabilities.
“Being the front man for it in the last Olympics, I thought it was terrible,” he said. “That was the reason (my behavior) was so terrible, the reason I was a hard ass.”
After winning two silver medals in the 2002 Olympics and then the overall World Cup title in 2005, expectations were extremely high for Miller to bring back at least one gold in the 2006 Games. Instead, he didn’t win any medals, and was roundly criticized for partying off the slopes.
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“Everybody parties,” he said, but it angered him when the U.S. team didn’t come to his defense, and instead apologized for him, he said.
After his complaints the past few years about the way the U.S. ski team treats its athletes and how the international ski federation operates, Miller was relatively quiet last season.
“This year, I just didn’t talk to anybody,” he said, and there were fewer people clamoring to talk to him in a non-Olympic year.
Still, he ended his season in controversy when he was second after the first run of a race in the U.S. Ski Championships in Alaska, and then didn’t race the second heat, and didn’t say why.
On Friday, he explained that ski conditions were difficult and not worth the risk for him. “Guys were crashing all over the place,” he said.
“For some guys, it was a huge deal to win the nationals,” he said. “For me, it doesn’t make much difference.”
Particularly after winning two World Cup downhills and two Super Gs, and the overall Super G title that has him only two victories behind Phil Mahre as the American with the most cup wins. Miller, who turns 30 in October, expects to pass Mahre next season.
“In my mind, I’m better than any other racer,” he said. “I’ve been racing against those guys for five, 10 years. Given equal conditions, I feel I can beat those guys any day.”
But variables can make the difference, regardless of how good he might be skiing ” snow conditions, starting number, whether it’s cloudy or sunny, he said.
He said he went into last season thinking he could win 13 races if he did everything right. He said the variables kept him from coming close. He said he will go into next season with the same goal.
“At the point I’m at now, I want to raise the level of my program. If I’m going to race World Cup, I want to be in position to win 14 races,” he said.
Miller said he will be racing next season if he is physically OK ” he’s had knee problems. But he said his mental state also could make the difference.
“I would stop in mid-season if I’m not happy doing what I’m doing,” he said. “I’d quit in the middle of a race.”