It's Bode Time

Newsweek International, February 6, 2006 | Go to article overview

It's Bode Time


Byline: Devin Gordon

Bode Miller, the most gifted American skier in decades, talks the same way he races: fast, loose and seemingly out of control. He has a smirking disrespect for the media, a stance he'll repeat until your recorder runs out of tape. As far as he's concerned, the only stupid questions from reporters are the ones that end in question marks. But he'll answer anything--anything --and the moment he opens his mouth, he's an ink-spiller's fantasy. He's funny, he's incisive, he's foulmouthed and combative, and he's stubbornly, refreshingly honest. Sometimes too honest. Miller caused a furor on Jan. 8 when he went on CBS's "60 Minutes" and implied that he once skied a World Cup event while drunk--or at least extremely hung over--which is nearly as stupid a thing to say as it is to do. And just last week he blasted Barry Bonds and Lance Armstrong, accusing them of being drug cheats.

At least he gave the snowy carnival in Torino something it dearly needs: serious heat. After his "60 Minutes" remarks, the self-styled rebel fell in line and offered an apology (of sorts) for "the way I made those comments" and for causing "a lot of confusion and pain." Now he can get back down to business. Despite vague threats to bag Torino--he told NEWSWEEK his lucrative endorsement deals made his reasons for going to Italy "impure"--Miller lives to ski. His unorthodox technique confounds his coaches and singes the eyes of racing purists, but Miller is blisteringly fast--that is, when he can stay on his feet. "It's like his upper body is detached from his lower body," says U.S. teammate Lindsey Kildow, a rising star on the women's side. "His upper body is all over the map. But what his lower body does is incredible. He's always going straight down the fall line." Miller finished enough races in the 2004-05 World Cup season to win the overall title, becoming the first American champion in 22 years. …

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