Bode Miller Post-Race Interview in Sochi Olympics Sparks Controversy

Posted By: The Ski Channel on February 17, 2014 10:41 pm

Olympian Alpine ski racer Bode Miller (Franconia, NH) tied for bronze in super-G at Rosa Khotu during the Sochi 2014 Olympic Games, the eldest medalist in an Olympic Alping Skiing event on a difficult Russian course that many skiers couldn’t complete. Yet, the accomplishment was overshadowed by a heavy moment for the live audience and adoring fans. His post-heat interview on the snow with NBC Olympics‘ reporter Christin Cooper caused a frenzy of social media outrage from his fans, deeming the broadcast was ”tearjerking around 36-year-old Bode Miller…”

“Lost in all this was Miller’s excellent super-G run, not to mention the run of his teammate Andrew Weibrecht, who won silver and then stood there awkwardly while NBC’s Cooper zeroed in on Miller’s family tragedy,” criticized the Slate.

Bode Miller, Sochi 2014 Olympics, Christin Cooper, bode miller race interview, Chelone Miller

Bode Miller takes a breather after winning bronze in Sochi super-G. Photo: NBC Olympics

Do you think the post-race interview went too far? Leave a comment at the bottom of the page.

As the most successful man in American history of the sport, Miller approached post-race interviews facing many questions about his last year of struggle through difficult family times. He lost his younger brother, late pro snowbaorder Chelone Miller, on April 7th, 2013. The ski and snowboard world lost a beloved member of its community when “Chilly” passed away in his sleep after an epileptic seizure.

NBC Olympics‘ reporter Christin Cooper interviewed Bode Miller after winning bronze, prying with questions about his emotional state after such a tragedy:

“I know you wanted to be here with Chilly, experiencing these games. How much does it mean to you to come up with a great performance for him. Was it for him?” As Miller wiped tears from his eyes, Cooper went in for another hard question.

“When you’re looking up at the sky at the start [gate], we see you there and it just looks like you’re talking to somebody. What’s going on there?”

Bode could not answer the reporter, bending over for stabilization on the Olympic gate fence – a striking image, one hard to bare.

Bode Miller, Sochi 2014 Olympics, Christin Cooper, bode miller race interview, Chelone Miller

Wife Morgan Beck Miller’s smile literally lifts Bode off the ground in an emotional win in Sohci. Photo: NBC Olympics

Bode Miller defended Cooper on social media, tweeting to his fans:

“I appreciate everyone sticking up for me. Please be gentle with Christin Cooper. It was crazy emotional and not all her fault. #heatofthemoment… 

“My emotions were very raw. She asked the questions that every interviewer would have, pushing is part of it, she wasnt trying to cause pain.” – @millerbode

The Ski Channel was lucky enough to spend some time with Chelone before his tragic accident, getting to know his sweet and sensitive personality. We edited this piece before Chelone passed, and decided to keep it as is, focusing on the brother’s bond. It is with great applause that we celebrate the lives of these two athletes and their accomplishments.

Chelone Miller was an athlete, brother, son and friend that will be forever missed. Our respect goes out to the Miller family, with hopes to honor Chelone’s life as best we can. Shred in peace, Chelone.

Donate to Bode Miller’s Turtle Ridge Foundation at www.turtleridgefoundation.org

Do you think the post-race interview went too far? Leave a comment below.

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