Bode Miller says take it easy on interviewer who made him cry

The Internet isn’t very happy with NBC interviewer Christin Cooper after her repeated questions about his younger brother’s death made legendary American skier Bode Miller cry following his bronze-winning run on Sunday.

But Miller himself isn’t one of the people calling out Cooper. In fact, he was defending her Monday morning on NBC’s Today Show.

"I have known Christin a long time, and she’s a sweetheart of a person. I know she didn’t mean to push. I don’t think she really anticipated what my reaction was going to be, and I think by the time she realized it, it was too late. I don’t blame her at all," said Miller, speaking to Matt Lauer.

The day began magnificently enough of the slopes of Krasnaya Polyana, Russia, on Sunday morning. Miller, at 36 years old, won the bronze in the men’s super-G, becoming the oldest Alpine medalist in Olympic history. The medal was the sixth of his career, making Miller the second-most decorated male ski racer in Olympic history and tying him for second all-time among all US Winter Olympians in any sport.

But the real news came when Miller was overcome with emotion after the race, particularly when talking about the death of his then-29-year-old brother Chelone in April 2013.

You can see much of the NBC interview here.

But shortly after the interview, the Internet exploded in rage, believing that Cooper bombarded Miller with questions about Chelone, in hopes of bringing the skier to tears.

It should be noted that Cooper is not a lifelong journalist, but rather an Olympian skier herself, having won silver in the giant slalom in 1984 at Sarajevo, Yugoslavia.

As the interview opens, Miller is speaking about his brother’s death. From there, Cooper asks Miller three questions about his emotions, one specifically about his brother, another about what Miller is thinking when he’s "looking up at the sky at the start."

From there, Miller breaks down and is unable to continue the interview, Cooper putting an arm on the skier. The interview was over, but the controversy had just begun . . . until Miller did his part to squash it with a classy tweet late Sunday.

Here was Miller’s first tweet following the interview:

And here’s a sampling of the reaction.

And the criticism came from many angles, including some of the most traditional.

And other TV outlets.

And other athletes.

And a fellow US Winter Olympic legend.

And somebody took to Wikipedia to express their outrage at Cooper.

That comment on the Miller interview has since been removed from Cooper’s Wikipedia page. As of early Monday morning, the reference to the Miller interview on Cooper’s Wikipedia page read:

 

 

And after the interview aired on the West Coast of the United States, and more than 20 hours after his first post-interview tweet (with one retweet the sum of Miller’s Twitter activity since), the skier sent this response: