Bode Miller Excited to Return to the U.S. Ski Team and World Cup Tour

Posted By: The Ski Channel on September 24, 2009 11:14 am

Bode Miller made everyone’s day today. Well, he made the day for fans of ski racing, at least. The dude is a rock star, and has literally transformed the sport of alpine skiing both with his talent (he skied the FENCE to stay upright and keep his line at the Hahnenkamm downhill in Kitzbuhel) and his literal rock-star ways (he travels in a tricked-out trailer and trains as he sees fit). Brimming with natural talent and well-deserved bravado (he’s a smart dude with a biting sense of humor) Bode is IT.

So when the 2008 World Cup Overall Champ announced his return to the Audi FIS World Cup Tour when everyone thought he was done, and his return to the U.S. Ski Team no less, after years of flying solo, the ski racing community screamed a collective and maybe even orgasmic “Yes!”

Here’s what Miller and crew had to say about his return:

For starters, Miller is extremely positive about the pending season as part of the U.S. Ski Team, and looks forward to having the “runs of his life.” “Obviously having the best runs of your life is what all athletes strive for,” Miller said. “A big goal of mine has been to be part of a great program, though. It’s always been a work in progress.”

“There are a million things you can point fingers at, when things go wrong,” Miller continued. “But now I feel like I have the opportunity to be part of a program that leaves no stone unturned. Everything moves right along. (Joining the U.S. Ski Team) is an opportunity for me to have the best runs of my life, and an opportunity to kill it this season.”

When asked about his return to the Olympics, Miller remained upbeat: “There is no comparison to the energy surrounding the Olympics. If you’ve got an opportunity to do it, you do it,” Miller said.

And he harbors no regrets about the 2006 Olympic Games in Torino, or any of the other media troubles that plagued him in the past. “I think everyone can look back on any area of life and in hindsight make judgment calls. But I don’t think this is an arena for me to apologize. I think my actions will speak louder than any apology I could make. I feel like I’m moving in a really positive direction and I think people will have to make their decisions based on that,” Miller said.

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Miller’s attitude is already gold-medal worthy, but what of his physical condition, after taking the summer off? The athlete plans to skip the opening World Cup GS race in Soelden, Austria in favor of training. “It’s better to be fully prepared, and it’s unrealistic to be fully prepared for Soelden,” Miller said. “I’m not in bad shape, I have an active lifestyle. But it’s a far cry from being in race shape,” Miller continued. “I’ve taken a lot of pride in being in the most well-conditioned shape on the World Cup. Also I keep getting more and more pressure because I’m getting old.”

Whatever the case, U.S. Ski Team Head Coach Sasha Rearick was positive about Miller’s preparation, both physical and mental. “Right now, we have a technical camp in Saas Fe in early October, and Bode will join the guys there,” Rearick said. “From there we go to Stubai. Head (Miller’s equipment supplier) is committed to doing whatever it takes to get Bode set up. From there we’ll start getting ready for Levi in Northern Finland for a slalom race.”

“Right now our focus is clear,” Rearick continued. “Team environment is number one. Everyone has a specific role, and we make sure that that environment is extremely positive. Having Bode come in is going to take that to the next level.”

For Miller, the focus easily became crystal: “When I reached out to Sasha I really didn’t pick up the phone with the intention to make something like this happen,” Miller said. “When Sasha took over, I’d already gone independent. But we worked together years ago, and I remembered we had a really strong shared belief system. And once we got on the phone, it was clear we still had that in common. It really didn’t take a lot of encouragement from there to join the Team.”

And with that, we can still hear the “Yes’s” reverberating. Bells everywhere.

 

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