After falling far short of the Best in the World at the Torino
2006 Games, the U.S. Ski Team adopted the new tagline of
“All Out,” and there couldn’t be a better mascot for this ap-
proach than Bode Miller.
He walked away from the Vancouver Games as the best
Olympic skier in American history, with a medal of every col-
or all at the same Games for a total of five including his two
silvers from Salt Lake. And Miller did it after totally turning his
back on the sport at the end last season and all in the best
way — his way. Taking Full Risk. This method doesn’t always
work out for the guy (as we saw in the Olympic GS and sla-
lom races), but he’ll take three medals out of five races.
“It all looked good when you’re three for three,” said Miller
in Whistler. “It’s like, ‘This dude is really good.’ But the risk
I was taking to get those three medals, to ski that way is
maximum risk. I think even the coaches don’t understand
the risk I’m taking out there. To have three medals, the two
I didn’t get ... I skied hard. So in GS and slalom, it doesn’t
happen. If you want to ski that way you have to be willing to
except these results. I was skiing 100 percent. I couldn’t
After his Olympic super combined gold medal, Miller spent
a good few minutes trying to help a throng of reporters un-
derstand how he feels like he’s having a personal celebration
as he comes down the race course, how years of training
and being coached has left him with a set of programming
as far as wise tactics and approaches in certain race condi-
tions that sometimes “ruins” the line his heart is steering
Miller described how racing from the heart and ignoring
years of mental programming is “a conundrum” he’s having.
When he came into the Games, he said he was “halfway on
the boat” as far as ski racing. After the slalom — though he
was out of the race after about five seconds — the surge
of happiness that came not from the medals but the way
he skied to get them made him confess that he’s back on
“That Olympic moment did drag me back on the boat,” he
On the Bode Miller boat it’s always full throttle. It’s risky and
even if he thinks his coaches don’t understand how much,
they understand enough.
“He’s skiing for himself,” said U.S. men’s coach Sasha
Rearick. “He’s worked extremely hard in training and now he
just trusts himself to go as hard as he can. Right now he’s
focused on having fun skiing, having fun going out and trying
as hard as he can to put down the runs that he wants to do.
We just want him to go out there and ski as hard as he can,
just put down runs where he can say, Hey, I’ve pushed the
limit in this sport.’” — S.F.