Bode Miller

Bode Miller feels his age, knee a liability

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Bode Miller has raced 12 times over seven World Cup stops this season. How’s he holding up?

“I’m healthy enough that I’m skiing as hard as I can, but I definitely feel my age,” Miller said on TODAY from Oberjoch, Germany, on Thursday. “I’m trying to catch up to the young kids.”

Miller is set to compete in his fifth Olympics at age 36. He’s a five-time Olympic medalist, including one of every color in 2010, but the expectations are different for Sochi after missing all of last season following knee surgery.

“Everyone kind of knows anything outside of the medals is not really why you’re going there,” Miller said. “I think it is the performances I’m looking for. … Four years older, fifth Olympics, my knee is a liability, probably a lot of things I’m dealing with right now are liabilities.”

Miller’s custody battle with the mother of his 10-month-old boy, Sam, has been a distraction.

“I have some experience with the media,” he said. “The real difficult part is any time it’s family or things that are really personal.”

Before the season, Miller coped with the death of brother Chelone, 29, to an apparent seizure stemming from his traumatic brain injury suffered in a 2005 motorcycle accident.

“It was a shock,” Miller said. “For something like that to happen, it really knocked us all on our asses pretty hard.”

But he’s gained from the presence of his wife, beach volleyball player Morgan Beck, who has joined him on the World Cup tour for the first time after they were married in 2012.

“Morgan is a great woman, and she’s been able to travel around me a lot,” Miller said. “Being able to share the experiences of moving around the world and seeing all these great spots and training, that’s the pleasure.”

Miller, with one podium finish this season, is expected to race in Adelbolden, Switzerland, on Saturday and Sunday.

Skiers to watch in Sochi with Vonn out

What to watch at Drake Relays, Penn Relays

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Olympic gold medalists ramp up their track and field seasons at the Penn Relays and Drake Relays, live on NBCSN and NBC Sports Gold this weekend.

Athletes are working toward the U.S. Championships in June and the world championships in August.

First, the historic Penn Relays will air on NBCSN and NBC Sports Gold on Friday (5:30-6:30 p.m. ET) and Saturday (12:30-3 p.m. ET).

USA vs. The World in men’s and women’s 4x100m, 4x400m and sprint medley relays will air live on Saturday from Franklin Field in Philadelphia. A full schedule is here.

The U.S. teams are led by Olympic relay champions English Gardner and Natasha Hastings. The full roster is here.

Rio Olympic rematches highlight the individual-event fields at the Drake Relays in Des Moines on NBCSN and NBC Sports Gold from 3-5 p.m ET on Saturday. A full schedule is here.

Perhaps no field is deeper than the 100m hurdles. World-record holder Keni Harrison takes on Rio silver and bronze medalists Kristi Castlin and Nia Ali, plus 2008 Olympic champion Dawn Harper-Nelson.

The 110m hurdles contingent is strong as well. It features the last two Olympic champions, Jamaican Omar McLeod and American Aries Merritt, plus 2013 World champion David Oliver.

Grenada’s Kirani James and American LaShawn Merritt, who earned silver and bronze in Rio, go head-to-head again in the 400m at Drake.

The men’s 1500m is headlined by Rio Olympic 800m bronze medalist Clayton Murphy and London Olympic 1500m silver medalist Leo Manzano.

Rio bronze medalist Jenny Simpson races individually for the first time this year in the women’s 1500m.

That field also includes New Zealand’s Nikki Hamblin, who gained fame of her own in Rio. Hamblin and American Abbey D’Agostino fell in an Olympic 5000m heat and helped each other make it to the finish line. Both were praised for their sportsmanship.

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IOC president unsure whether esports should be considered sport

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Esports are gaining momentum in the international sports movement, but they are not close to becoming an Olympic sport.

“We are not yet 100 percent clear whether esports is really sport, with regard to physical activity and what it needs to be considered sport,” IOC president Thomas Bach said Tuesday, according to insidethegames. “We do not see an organization or a structure that will give us confidence, or guarantee, that in this area the Olympic rules and values of sport are respected and in place, and that the implementation of these rules are monitored and secured.”

The first clear step (of many) to become an Olympic sport is for the IOC to recognize the sport’s international governing body.

Esports will be added as a medal sport to the Asian Games in 2022, and has been praised by LA 2024 Olympic bid chairman Casey Wasserman, but it is not yet IOC recognized.

“We are watching it, we see the differences, we see the lack of organisation,” Bach said, according to the report. “But we also see the high engagement of youth in esports. Therefore, we have to carefully consider how this could be consolidated.”

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