Bode Miller blamed a gold medalist's decline on her marriage

Kevin Kaduk
Yahoo Sports
(AP photo)
(AP photo)

It didn’t take long for Bode Miller to get himself into trouble in the broadcasting booth.

The star skier turned analyst stuck his boot directly in his mouth Thursday in PyeongChang, saying a female skier’s decision to get married was related to her declining performance on the slopes.

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Austria’s Anna Veith won a gold medal in the 2014 Sochi Games and also won overall World Cup titles in 2014 and 2015. But she tore her ACL before the start of the 2016 World Cup season and hasn’t been the same since.

Knees, as you might imagine, are pretty important in skiing. NBC veteran analyst Dan Hicks even pointed out as much as Veith competed in the women’s giant slalom event on Thursday.

Miller agreed, but didn’t stop there.

“The knee is certainly an issue,” Miller said. “I want to point out she also got married. And it’s historically very challenging to race on the World Cup with a family or after being married.”

Miller continued:

“Not to blame the spouses, but I just want to toss it out there that it may be her husband’s fault.”

Miller isn’t an emotive guy, so the initial impulse is to say this is a bad attempt at dry humor. A really, really bad attempt considering you’d likely never hear the same joke made about a male competitor.

But if it’s a a theory he really believed? Whoo, boy. Miller might have thought being married or having kids makes things tougher — and they do at a certain level — but any perceived correlation with performance at this level certainly has more to do with injury and age, two challenges that Miller has known well.

A short while later, Miller apologized on air for his “ill-advised attempt at a joke” and tweeted out two messages.

“I do apologize,” MIller said. “I was an athlete that competed after marriage, and I know how beneficial it is. I know the support team you need. On Valentine’s Day, I did not mean to throw spouses under the bus, and I’m going to be hearing it from my wife, I know.”

Twitter was not happy with Miller’s comments on just his second day of announcing at the Olympics:

While NBC has been killing it ratings wise, it’s run into a few problems with remarks. The network sent home analyst Josh Cooper Ramo after he offended Koreans with a remark about the Japanese during the Opening Ceremony. Katie Couric also drew some criticism for her comments about the Dutch skating to work on the canals of Amsterdam.

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