Bode Miller, Brett Favre & a Winter Olympics Re-Run

Posted By: Zeke Piestrup on September 24, 2009 9:24 am

Shuffleboard will have to wait.  Bode Miller, the greatest American alpine skier of all time, likened himself to Brett Favre and announced today at Staples Center in Los Angeles that he will be rejoining the U.S. Ski Team

Big news and also a big coup for U.S. Men’s Alpine Head Coach, Sasha Rearick (pictured above, left).  The friction between Bode and the U.S. team has evaporated with Rearick, now in his second year as head coach, leading the team.  There were visible good vibes between the two at the press conference, as Bode relayed a story of training with Rearick a few years back in Jackson Hole.  Rearick deserves huge props for bringing Bode back into the fold.

Regarding a Winter Olympics run, Bode went the humble route, saying that he’d first have to qualify according to team standards. Those standards are a skier must have at least one podium finish during the upcoming season.  With 31 World Cup wins, 8 season titles, including two big overall World Cup titles, could Rearick not name Bode to the Winter Olympics team if he has a string of poor results?  Difficult to imagine that scenario taking place.

The 2009 season was, however, the first in eight years that Bode failed to win a race.  He did have two second place finishes in downhill, but the year was marred by crashes, a bothersome ankle, a bizarre disqualification, and an early departure from the World Cup tour.

In his book, Bode described his racing approach as skiing “as fast as the natural universe will allow.”  That razor’s edge style often results in coin-flip odds as to whether or not Bode crosses the finish line.  The coin flip at the last Winter Olympics did not go Bode’s way.  Bad luck resulted in a pompous Bob Costas’ dressing Bode down on the NBC telecast in Torino.

But, these Winter Olympics will certainly be different.  With the massive success of Lindsey Vonn and her two back-to-back overall World Cup titles, it will be Vonn who will have to shoulder the weight of America’s expectations in Vancouver.  Certainly there will be less of a spotlight on Miller this time around.  At Torino, Bode was the hope, representing the biggest U.S. chances at gold in alpine skiing.   Instead, it was Ted Ligety, not Bode Milelr, that walked away with the only U.S. gold medal in alpine skiing.  This time around, it will be Lindsey Vonn’s spotlight.

But, America loves its redemption stories.  If Bode Miller can find success in Vancouver he’ll solidify his legacy among the non-skiing general public.  In our tribe, the Skiing Tribe, Bode Miller is already the greatest, regardless of what happens in Vancouver.  Here’s hoping today’s announcement is the beginning of a great Olympic journey for Bode Miller, and he gets his just due from America at large.

Zeke Piestrup ( More Posts)

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