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

Ida Keeling, 100 years old, sets world record at Penn Relays (video)

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Ida Keeling electrified the Penn Relays crowd with her 100-meter dash in 1 minute, 17.33 seconds on Saturday afternoon.

Keeling set a world record for fastest 100m by a woman 100 years and older. There is no data on USA Track and Field and masters athletics websites for a previous record holder.

“I’ll be 101 in a couple of weeks,” Keeling pointed out to NBC Sports’ Carolyn Manno after the race, a mixed-gender event for athletes 80 and older. “I’ve never seen nothing like this crowd. Maybe that’s what the excitement was.”

Keeling’s advice?

“Love yourself, do what you have to do and what you want to do,” she said. “Eat for nutrition, not for taste. And exercise at least once a day.”

More on Keeling is here.

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U.S. sprinters past, present trade relay barbs

Justin Gatlin
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PHILADELPHIA (AP) — The only loss for the Americans at the Penn Relays came in the men’s 4x100m, as the U.S. team bobbled its victory away on a bad baton handoff between Tyson Gay and Isiah Young for the final leg, which led to a disqualification.

Mike Rodgers and Justin Gatlin gave the Americans an early lead in the race, and things were moving along well during Gay’s third leg. But the muffed handoff for the final leg cost the Americans. Both the winning Jamaican squad and the second American team surpassed them.

Young finished third, but the team was disqualified because the handoff occurred outside the pass zone. The second U.S. team of Sean McLean, Wallace Spearman, Calesio Newman and Remontay McLain finished in 39.02.

The mistake led to some inflammatory comments from U.S. great Leroy Burrell about continued problems with handoffs by U.S. relay teams.

“Well, I think we’ve got to put our team together a little earlier, possibly,” Burrell said in a television interview. “I think, we’ve had the same coaches working with these guys for many years, and we’ve had failure after failure. So it’s possible that, you know, it might be time for a bit of a regime change with the leadership.

“I think the athletes have to be the catalysts that make that happen. There’s no reason why we shouldn’t be able to get the stick around. I saw thousands of relay teams yesterday — maybe not thousands, but hundreds of relay teams get it around. But the professionals can’t. That’s just not good for our sport.”

Rodgers didn’t take kindly to those remarks.

“People keep pointing their fingers and downing us, but nobody has ever tried to come out there and help us,” he said. “Nobody from the past. Not Carl [Lewis] or Leroy. They haven’t been out there. I can’t really respect their opinions because they’re supposed to be leaders in our sport and in the USA, and they’re not coming out there to drop some knowledge on us, so I don’t care what they have to say.”

Lewis criticized U.S. relays in March.

Gatlin was equally critical of Burrell.

“I’m tired of people who have been part of Team USA take shots at Team USA,” Gatlin said. “To put us in the same boat as high schoolers is insulting.”

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