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BYE, BYE BODE - James Cove, PlanetSKI Editor
Wednesday November 1, 2017 - Email this article to a friend

One of the greatest skiers of all time has left the stage with little fanfare. PlanetSKI picks up the trumpet to pay tribute to Bode Miller. UPDATED

 

 

 

Legend is a very over-used description.

But the one and only Bode Miller is a legend - on and off the slopes.

On the slopes he is up there with Franz Klammer, Herman Maier, Jean-Claude Killy, Ingemar Stenmark and Toni Sailer.

Off the slopes there are few racers to compete with him - partying, taking on authorities or simply being his own man and sticking two fingers up to the establishment.

Now he has confirmed at 40-years old he will not be racing again.

He has not competed since injuring a leg 21 months ago at the 2015 World Championships in Beaver Creek, USA.

There was no formal statement and because it was widely expected it has gone somewhat unnoticed by the media.

Not by us here at PlanetSKI.

"It had kind of been a long time coming. But just with my kids and the time and life, when I look at skiing now, I don't really feel like I have anything, the motivation, the desire, the everything to kind of go through it again," said Bode.

"Aside from the logistical challenges and my priorities and my family being first and not being able to put any of that aside to train and prepare the way I know I need to, I have so much experience.

"I know there's no shortcuts in what I would have to do to really take a pretty solid commitment on my part. That would mean sacrificing a lot of other things."

He will be commentating rather than racing at Pyeongchang 2018 as we have reported elsewhere on PlanetSKI.

Miller has won the most Olympic medals of any US skier: one gold, three silver and two bronze.

His bronze in the Sochi 2014 super-G made him the oldest skier to win a medal at the Games.

Only one skier, Beni Raich from Austria with 441, made more World Cup appearances than Miller's 438.

He has 33 World Cup victories to his name and is ranked eighth on the all-time list of male skiers.

The five-time Olympian is one of only five men to have won World Cup races in all five of the sport's disciplines: downhill (8), super-G (4), alpine combined (6), giant slalom (9) and slalom (5).

In 2005 and 2008 he won the overall World Cup title.

He was quite simply one of the most influential skiers of all time.

Every time I watched him race the hairs stood up on the back of my neck.

Even when a ski came off.

I met him once.

I was with my son Alex who was 12-years old at the time at the Lauberhorn race in Wengen back in 2007.

The racing was over and I got into the gondola above the finish area with my son and a couple of other guys.

One looked remarkably like Bode Miller but surely he should have been going to the prize giving, having a technical de-brief or doing a bunch of media interviews?

"I'm just going for a free-ski with a friend," he told me after I had summoned up the courage to speak to one of my all-time heroes.

"Enjoy your ski with your young son, he'll be better than you soon," were his parting words.

Not wrong because 10-years on here in 2017 my son Alex is now 23-years old and a Canadian Level Three instructor. 

And yes, he is better than me by a considerable margin.

Alex CoveAlex Cove

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alex CoveAlex Cove

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bode too is a family man.

Though his kids are younger than mine.

A Dad, his boys and some hockey - Bode Miller InstagramA Dad, his boys and some hockey - Bode Miller Instagram

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bode Miller InstagramBode Miller Instagram

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Bye, bye Bode and thanks for the memories.

Ski racing won't be the same without him.

Personally I can't thank Bode Miller enough and I am so pleased I was into ski racing at the same time as he passed through.

Last month I was very fortunate to play a round of golf with another of my all-time ski heroes, Franz Klammer.

I suspect Bode Miller doesn't play golf, but fingers crossed he takes it up in retirement and needs a game next time he is in the UK.

I'll be waiting for the call.

UPDATE:

The International Ski Federation has just issued the following statement:

"Thanks Bode for everything you did for alpine skiing, you were a charismatic athletes that helped develop our sport.  We will miss you on the World Cup tour and wish you all the best for the future."

In the video below, Bode Miller speaks to  Graham Bensinger.

He states he will not race another World Cup event and explains when he thinks his skiing career reached its peak and why.

Bode Miller, it seems, is a lucky man to have few regrets.

See here for the main PlanetSKI news page with all the latest stories from the mountains.

For the Spirit of the Mountains - PlanetSKI: No1 for ski news

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