Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Your School. Your Paper. Since 1936.

The Suffolk Journal

Let the “Games” begin in Vancouver

Strong start in Vancouver “Bodes” well for Miller
Article by: Alex Pearlman

Never one to meet expectations, Bode Miller won the bronze medal in the men’s downhill this weekend, confusing some and energizing others.

The most-medaled male American Alpine skier in Olympic history, Miller is the antithesis of an American athlete: he’s sloppy, he dramatically loses as often as he dramatically wins, and he’s usually still slightly tipsy from the night before. But his noncompliance with the stereotype of the Olympian only makes him that much more popular, a commodity to this year’s ski team.

In 2002, Miller won two silver medals at Salt Lake City and in 2006 he won none at Torino, although he was favored to win in five different events. Sadly, his performance in Italy inspired a barrage of negative publicity about his late-night partying and infighting with U.S. ski officials, which made Miller into a sort of bad boy, the kind you see more in snowboarding than skiing, and many fans still haven’t forgiven him for the disaster that was Torino.

But now, it seems like he has his stride (or slide) back. After a self-imposed break from skiing, Miller is in Vancouver with seemingly high spirits and a good attitude.

“The Olympics played a pretty important role in that decision to come back,” he said last week, according to the LA Times. “If it was just a regular season, I probably would have taken the season off and reevaluated next year.”

Maybe the bad boy isn’t as bad as he seems. Miller is surely one of the most talented people on two sticks and his carefree attitude – that skiing is about having fun, not winning – just might re-attract people the way it did when he came into the spotlight in Salt Lake City.

With his bronze medal in the men's downhill on Monday, American Bode Miller found himself back on the Olympic podium for the first time since 2002.

“I’m ready to race,” Miller said at the U.S. Alpine media session last week in Whistler Village. “I was ready to race in Torino. I didn’t have a great Olympics, but I’ve had lots of series of races that have gone much worse than that. I come in here prepared and fired up, and hopefully it pops up on the ‘radar’ here and there.”

A large part of his image is his insistence that the Olympics are not as big a deal as they’re made out to be. Miller famously said in 2006 that an Olympic gold didn’t “mean anything,” which also contributed to the amount of hate from the fans and the media he garnered. But now, he seems to be back-pedaling – or maybe he’s trying to make amends.

“The big Games are different, they’re more important,” he said to CTV Canada. “There’s more environmental stimulation. You get more excited, there’s more energy and that can be really positive if you feed off it.

In the end, though, it doesn’t matter why he’s back, just that, thankfully, he is, and that this early in the Games, he’s already upped his performance from 2006.

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Let the “Games” begin in Vancouver