Miller claims elusive Olympic gold medal
Bode Miller pumped his ski poles a few times after crossing the
finish line, a trace of a grin beginning to appear.
Hardly an elaborate celebration after an aggressive slalom run
that helped land him that elusive Olympic gold medal Sunday during
the super-combined. But to his father, Woody, the tiny show of
emotion conveyed everything.
Like the weight of the world had been lifted.
“He looks happier, like he’s enjoying himself,” his father
said. “That’s what I like to see.”
Taking in the scene from the middle of a packed crowd, Woody
Miller was waiting for a display just like that, to inform the
father that, yes, his son was indeed enjoying this moment.
Then again, what’s not to enjoy?
Bode Miller now has three medals at these Winter Games and five
for his career. The five Alpine medals tie him for the second-most
by any man in Olympic history, behind the eight won by Kjetil Andre
Aamodt of Norway.
And while Miller has long insisted that medals matter little to
him, his father held a little different view of the situation. He
thought his son was “hungry” for that elusive gold, almost
burdened by it.
“There was something that was definitely on his shoulders,”
said Woody Miller, who’s from Franconia, N.H. “I think it’s more
like he’s enjoying himself. That’s always been key for him. He lost
Consider it found again.
Woody Miller couldn’t find the words to describe his son’s final
slalom run, saying only that he was really “ripping there” in the
slalom. He knew his son nailed it by his expression crossing the
“He was pleased with his run,” Woody Miller said. “I could
see that on his face.”
That sure wasn’t the case four years ago at the Turin Games.
Touted as the star of those games, Bode Miller left empty-handed,
drawing more attention for his social life than his skiing.
“I’m sure he was trying as hard as he could in every event, but
he wasn’t experiencing the joy of racing,” Woody Miller said. “He
Hard not to.
There have been no expectations at this Olympics, and maybe
that’s helped, his dad suggested.
“That’s something he has in common with me. I like to feel like
I’m a dark horse,” said Woody Miller, who was at the medals
ceremony Sunday night, snapping photos. “He likes to be a
Besides gold, the 32-year-old Bode Miller also has won bronze in
the downhill and silver in the super-G.
More important to him, though, is the way he’s skiing, not so
much his place on the podium.
“I would’ve been proud of that skiing with a medal or not,”
Miller said. “The three medals are kind of a distraction more than
anything else, because it makes everyone think I’m proud of the
races because I got the medals.”
His dad knows that’s not the case.
“Because he’s skiing the way he wants to ski and getting some
results at the same time – that means a lot,” Woody Miller said.
“When he’s on the race course, he’s in control. But that’s a tiny
fraction of his life.”