I believe Bode is certainly getting a lot of bad press...granted he's brought some on himself. But I think a large part is also what our culture has become. Way too result oriented and winning is everything.
Ski racing to me is always about consistency day in day out. The World Cup overall championship is IMHO without a doubt the most telling accomplishment a ski racer can have. Winning world cup ski races all over europe and the world throughout the long race season is what its all about. The olylmpics (and the world championships) are certainly one of the showcase races. However, they are merely a single race in each discipline once every four years.
Ingemar Stenmark, Alberto Tomba, Hermann Maier, Giradelli, Zurbriggen, Mahre, Klammer, Eberharber, etc.
Once again IMHO, should Bode ever be considered "one of the best racers of all time" (which I do not believe at this stage can be said of him...but our press was throwing these statements and more at us leading up to these games..) he needs quite a bit more time on the tour along with a lot more wins.
Miller's flop bodes ill for US
Tue Feb 21, 2006 6:45 AM ET
By Simon Evans
SESTRIERE, Italy (Reuters) - Bode Miller, the most high-profile skier in the world, has been more successful at scurrying away from journalists than completing his races at the Winter Olympics.
His reluctance to speak in public is symbolic of the humbling of the U.S. team at this Games.
Miller, who enjoys playing the contrarian, will have his own explanation for his evasiveness but coach Phil McNichol knows what line of questioning to expect in the coming weeks after a series of poor results for the much fancied US team.
"It's clearly a disappointment for the guys, it's clearly a disappointment for me to bring a team with medal potential and fall on our face, and now I have to strengthen myself for six months of answering, 'Why did you guys fail?'" he told the Chicago Tribune.
So far, with just the men's slalom and the two technical events left for the women, the U.S. team has managed just one medal, Ted Ligety's surprise gold in the men's combined.
Monday's two races brought further delusion for the Americans. Miller managed just sixth in the men's giant slalom with his team mates Ligety and Daron Rahlves failing to finish the first run.
Down the valley in San Sicario, the medal-free US women failed to raise a challenge in the super-G with Lindsey Kildow their best finisher in seventh place.
Kildow was the Americans' best hope of a medal in the women's speed races but has struggled after suffering an ugly crash in training for the downhill.
"I'm sad, I'm disappointed," she told reporters after Monday's race, "I really hoped to do something today but I skied the best I could.
"I had a pretty much perfect run but I guess the luck just wasn't on my side today and now I have to look forward to the upcoming races".
But with Kildow's talents more suited to speed events than the technical challenges of slalom and giant slalom a medal now looks out of reach for her.
Kildow and her team mate Julia Mancuso are both just 21 years old and are still relative newcomers to the World Cup circuit and it would be harsh if their performances were to be considered a flop in the way that the men's results have been.
Having failed to win a medal at Salt Lake four years ago, the U.S. turned to a new generation of young women and the World Cup results show that Kildow and Mancuso have the potential to make a major impact at the next Games in Vancouver in 2010.
For the more mature men's team the rebuilding process may be just about to begin. Rahlves is quitting the sport at the end of this season and Miller will be 32 when the next Olympics comes around.
It was Miller on whom the high expectations of the US team hung and it is his failure that will surely be the focus of any post-Olympics inquest.
Luck, conditions, technique and tactics will all come under review but so will Miller's attitude to the Games. He was twice spotted partying, once on the night before his downhill race.
Italian former Olympic champion Alberto Tomba, not exactly a cocoa and biscuits man himself, has no doubt that hitting the town has a negative impact on form.
"If you party once during competition, you might be able to cope the next day, but if you party twice, you're useless," he said.
The focus of U.S. thoughts will now be on how to create a team that has reason to party -- after the race.
Bode Miller may have struck out in the medals department (not podiumed - whatever that means) but he was has been proven correct in his doping statements. It is everywhere.
Posted by: fedupwiththis on February 20, 2006 at 01:22pm www.huffingtonpost.com