Alpine skiing: 'Inspirational' Miller may call it a day before slalom

Wed Feb 19, 2014 11:11am EST
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By Martyn Herman

ROSA KHUTOR, Russia (Reuters) - American showman Bode Miller finished way down the standings in Wednesday's giant slalom in what could be his final Olympic race, his creaking knees found wanting on an unforgiving piste.

And if it was to be the 36-year-old's farewell appearance after illuminating five Winter Games he will be sorely missed, according to U.S. team coach Sasha Rearick.

"For U.S. skiing, but also the ski world, the fanatics of skiing love watching Bode because he's such an inspirational skier," he said of the four-times world champion whose unique and cerebral style marks him down as one of the greats.

"He's brought fans to the sport, they absolutely love him because he brings charisma and inspiration in the way he skis."

Miller had knee surgery last season in a bid to appear at a fifth Winter Olympics and his bronze in the super-G took his medal tally to six, more than any other American skier.

During the initial downhill training runs in Rosa Khutor Miller was the quickest man on the mountain, but warmer temperatures and soft snow scuppered his chances of claiming the sport's biggest prize.

"I'm so proud of the effort Bode's put in here," Rearick said. "It's amazing. From early October, when he came to Soelden, he's been hammering day in and day out.

"I was really proud of the effort he gave in the super-combined. He skied free, and had fun in the super-G, got his medal. That was a huge relief."   Continued...

Bode Miller of the U.S. (R) leave the venue with his wife Morgan Beck after the men's alpine skiing giant slalom event at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics at the Rosa Khutor Alpine Center February 19, 2014. REUTERS/Mike Segar