Bode MillerApril 30. 2014 10:08PM
Bode Miller, the first American in 22 years to become the World Cup overall champion, the oldest skier to ever win an Olympic Medal, and the winningest skier in U.S. history, is a native of Easton, New Hampshire. The Olympic Alpine Skier was thrust into the spotlight in 1998, when he finished in the top three in the World Cup giant slalom, taking the Silver Medal in the Men's Combined Downhill and Slalom and the Men's Giant Slalom. He was the first American in sixteen years to finish in the top three.
Miller was born on October 12, 1977 in the small town of Easton, which sits just west of Franconia Notch State Park, in the heart of New Hampshire's "ski" country. He was home schooled and lived in a cabin, without electricity or running water, on five hundred acres in the White Mountains. He first picked up a pair of skis when he was three, testing his skills at nearby Cannon Mountain. He started to compete at the age of eleven.
In high school, he became a state champion in tennis, but it was skiing that pushed him to take risks. In 1996, he began to experiment with equipment, earning himself a spot on the U.S. Ski Team. Using a pair of recreation parabolic (hour glass shaped) skis, he began winning competitions, sometimes by large margins of two seconds or more. In 1998, he was a competitor in the Winter Olympics in Nagano, Japan and in 2002, he brought home two silver medals from Salt Lake City.
In 2003, Bode won two gold medals and a silver medal in the World Championships. Becoming a World Cup Champion led to many endorsements (most notably with Nike) and worldwide recognition. He has won the World Cup more than 25 times and in 2005 took the overall World Cup title. Although his appearance in the 2006 Olympics left many disappointed, Miller seemed to enjoy the experience of being an Olympian once again. In March 2007, Bode won his second World Cup Super G Season Title.
Miller left the U.S. ski team in May 2007 and built a team of his own that he called "Team America." During the 2007/2008 season, Bode clinched his second overall World Cup Championship. That summer, like he had done the previous summer, Bode played for the Nashua Pride baseball team to raise money for charity.
Miller ended the 2008/2009 season early after experiencing the worst winter of his professional career, leading some to speculate about his retirement. In December of 2008, he had a skiing accident that resulted in a torn ligament in his left ankle. He failed to win any races during the season but he still could have been a contender for the downhill title if he had continued to compete. It was also announced that Bode has a daughter, Neesyn Dacey, who was born on February 19, 2008.
On September 25, 2009, Miller held a press conference announcing that he would return to to the United States Alpine Ski Team for the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. "I can relate to Brett Favre," said Miller, "You dedicate your whole life to something and when you walk away, there's a big hole left, especially when it's my main form of expression."
In early December 2009, Miller took fourth place in Beaver Creek, Colorado in the Men's Downhill. However, during the Super Combined, he took a spill on the mountain that knocked him out of competition. The following week he finished fifth in the Super Combined in Val D'isere. He immediately started to rack up the points after the longest break in his career.
On July 14, 2010 it was announced that Bode had signed a four-year contract with the U.S. Ski Team, shutting down any rumors of retirement or any genuine journeys into professional tennis. Bode has taken some time off and dabbled in tennis, even participating in a U.S. Open qualifier in Honolulu, but he lost in his first match.
Bode joins a group of talented skiers on the U.S. Ski Team, including veterans like Ted Ligety and Erik Fisher and newer talent like Thomas Biesemeyer, Nolan Kasper and Will Gregorak.
On January 15, 2010 Bode took first place in the Audi FIS Alpine Ski World Cup Men's Super Combined in Wengen, Switzerland. Miller flew through the course at 2 minutes 35.96 seconds, taking his first World Cup medal in almost a year.
On February 15, during the 2010 Winter Olympics, Miller took a Bronze Medal in the Men's Downhill competition. He skied in the 8th position and landed in the lead with a run of 1 minute 54.40 seconds. Norwegian Aksel Lund grabbed a Silver Medal with a 1 minute 54.38 second run, just 2-hundredths of a second faster than Miller. Switzerland's Didier Defago took the Gold, with a run of 1 minute 54.31 seconds. On February 19, Miller earned a Silver Medal in the Super G with a 1:30.62 run. The following day he picked up his first Gold Medal in the Men's Super Combined. Miller is now the most decorated alpine skier ever.
Although it was expected that he would be retiring, Bode decided he'd take on the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi, Russia. He came home with a bronze medal, making him the oldest Olympian to win a medal (and also the most winning U.S. skier in history).