Bode Miller's shot at history was over almost before it began. Just eight seconds into Saturday's slalom race, Miller straddled the fifth gate, eliminating him from the event. It was a costly mistake that dumbfounded the skier.
"I just hooked a tip and it's obviously disappointing when you're fired up and you're skiing well and everything's there," Miller said. "You go out of the gate with the intention of absolutely maximizing every turn."
Not finishing the race left Miller one medal short of the record for most Alpine skiing medals by a man in a single Winter Olympics. Instead, his three medals in Vancouver tie him with four other skiers, and give him the record for an American.
While Miller's mistake was surprising, he wasn't alone in not finishing the race. Of the top 30 ranked skiers to compete, 10 didn't reach the bottom of the hill. The weather is partly to blame for the skiers' problems. Fog and wet snow combined to make the course particularly tough.
Nonetheless, Miller isn't blaming anyone but himself for not finishing. He told the Associated Press, "It's the Olympics and we knew it was going to be challenging, and we knew it was going to be tough and everyone's skiing 100 percent."
After his disappointing outing in Turin, Miller's performance in Vancouver reasserted him as one of the best Alpine skiers in the world. That might be enough to make up for the mistake that cost him a record.
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