Rejuvenated Miller back on World Cup podium

Sun Dec 8, 2013 6:31pm EST
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By Patrick Lang

BEAVER CREEK, Colorado (Reuters) - Leaner and keener, Bode Miller made it back on a World Cup podium after an 18-months break from skiing on Sunday and called his spectacular recovery "a redemption".

The once maverick poster boy of American skiing, now a married man and father of two, displayed his exceptional natural talent once again to finish second in a men's giant slalom 1.32 seconds behind compatriot Ted Ligety in Beaver Creek.

While Ligety's victory, his fourth consecutively in the Colorado resort, was almost business as usual, Miller's runner-up placing was a genuine sensation.

Forced out of skiing for more than a year by a knee operation, the old man of the circuit at 36 had not been on a World Cup podium for 22 months.

His resurrection was all the more spectacular as it took place in a giant slalom, a discipline in which he had not finished in the top three since 2007 in Lenzerheide.

Ligety, the man who replaced him at the helm of American skiing, was the first to congratulate his team-mate.

"It's awesome to see Bode back here. He's a little bit up and down in training but he managed to pull it together today," Ligety said.

The crowd discovered quite a different Miller in the finish area.   Continued...