It seems the Bode Miller ski renaissance has been temporarily disrupted as Miller failed to finish his first run in Tuesday's giant slalom race. Miller is one of only three skiers ever to win three medals in a single Winter Olympics, and he's hoping to become the first with four. Saturday's slalom is his last chance to set the record.
After nearly crashing in the first half of the race, Miller's line was off coming through a gate on the second half of the course, causing him to ski off course. Only skiers who complete their first run get a shot at a second attempt.
It's not surprising that Miller won't medal, and it's not even that surprising that he didn't finish. Miller has skied in only two giant slalom races this season. Suffering from a lingering ankle injury, he failed to finish in Colorado, and then wasn't fast enough to qualify for a second run in Italy.
In fact, Miller didn't even qualify for a spot on the United States team; he was added later as a coaches' selection in the hopes that he could turn in a couple of great runs. But it wasn't to be. According to the Associated Press:
"Bode skied great up top and then went down on his hip, made a recovery like only Bode can, but came in late to the next panel and hooked a gate with his hand," said Sasha Rearick, U.S. men's head coach.
"He then made another spectacular recovery and went straight back into hammering the line. He was pushing to make up time. He was happy with his run and would have liked to be in there, but he was skiing with passion," Rearick said.
With Miller eliminated, the United States' medal hopes sit on the shoulders of Ted Ligety. In eighth place, Ligety is just 0.6 second behind leader Carlo Janka of Switzerland. He's well within striking distance, and is hoping to follow through on his position as pre-race favorite.
(h/t Doug Haney, USSA)
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