Bode Miller back on snow

Posted By: The Ski Channel on October 15, 2009 2:32 pm

On the heels of Hermann Maier’s retirement, fellow ski racing legend Bode Miller is back in action in Saas-Fee. The two-time World Cup Overall Champ was skiing gates with the rest of the U.S. Ski Team, and in spite of missing summer training, felt solid (as if we’d expect anything less). “I’m really happy to be back on snow and skiing with the guys again,” said Miller, who took a brief hiatus from ski racing after the Audi FIS Alpine World Ski Championships last February. “This is the first time I’ve been to Saas-Fee and it’s probably the best glacier I’ve ever been on in Europe. The surface is really hard, the terrain is great and I’m having fun.”

While Miller said he was taking it slow, U.S. Ski Team Men’s Technical Head Coach Rudi Soulard said he’s happy with what Miller has shown at Saas-Fee. “It’s pretty early to say and Bode was probably a little sore after skiing today, but he’s really happy to be skiing and it’s good to have him back on snow with the guys,” said Soulard. “I set a slalom course on the steeps and Bode jumped right in. He’s doing a lot of equipment testing, but he made some good turns.”

Also currently training with Miller is slalom star Jimmy Cochran, cousin Tim Kelley, Paul McDonald, Nolan Kasper, U.S. National Slalom Champ David Chodounsky, Olympic Champion Ted Ligety and Tim Jitloff. “We have a really good group of guys here right now and we’re already seeing some positive things happening,” enthused Soulard.

Last season, Ligety jumped atop the podium at the Soelden (Austria) World Cup GS opener, and Jitloff qualified for a second run. Miller will be sitting the upcoming race out, and hasn’t officially set a return-to-competition date. He does plan, though, to be ready for the Audi Birds of Prey races in Beaver Creek, CO, Dec. 4-6, and possibly even sooner.

photo: Adam P/U.S. Ski Team