Bode Miller might be 36, but he put together the type of training session that reminds why he’s one of the biggest names in the 2014 Olympics on Saturday.
Miller had the fastest training run in the final warm-up before the men’s downhill medal event kicks off on Sunday, clocking in at 2 minutes, 6.09 seconds. He also enjoyed the quickest session in the first training run, signaling that he should be taken seriously in the event.
But he knows the course will make it tough — or worse. He saw the first starter on the course, Rok Perko, crash violently, while Marco Sullivan of the United States and Brice Roger of France both had issues. Miller later told reporters that the treacherous Rosa Khutor piste “could kill you.”
“It’s very treacherous. This course has teeth everywhere,” Miller said. “The top is aggressive and speeds are so high and the turns are so swingy and bumpy that you can hook an edge anywhere.
“You saw Marco today. It doesn’t look like it, it’s an innocuous place and there’s nothing there, but he almost killed himself. If that crash doesn’t go just the way it went, he goes flying through B nets going 75 (mph) straight into the trees.”
Miller has five Olympic medals to his name, including a gold, silver and bronze from Vancouver. He’ll face fierce competition on Sunday, but he seems ready to give his all.
Puma has introduced the “BeatBot,” a self-driving, line-following robot that runners can program to move at a specific pace around a track.
That means one could race against a robot-version of Usain Bolt‘s 100m world record of 9.58 seconds, with BeatBot’s top speed at just over 27 miles per hour.
The BeatBot can also navigate track curves, as shown in the video above.
Puma plans to roll out BeatBot to various track programs around the world over the year.
MORE: Bolt, Ashton Eaton set for showdown
Several U.S. Olympic champions highlight the Penn Relays and Drake Relays fields, live on NBCSN and NBC Sports Live Extra on Saturday.
At the Penn Relays in Philadelphia, the U.S. 4x100m, 4x200m and 4x400m pools include:
Justin Gatlin: 2004 Olympic 100m champ
Tyson Gay: Olympic 100m, fourth place
Carmelita Jeter: Olympic 100m silver medalist
Jeremy Wariner: 2004 Olympic 400m champ
Sanya Richards-Ross: Olympic 400m champ
Also competing will be two-time Olympic 100m champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, 2008 Olympic 100m silver medalist Kerron Stewart and 2015 World 200m silver medalist Elaine Thompson for Team Jamaica.
STREAM: Penn Relays: 12:30-3 p.m. ET
Next is the Drake Relays in Des Moines, Iowa, including:
- 2008 Olympic champion LaShawn Merritt versus 2012 Olympic champion Kirani James in the 400m
- World Indoor champion Vashti Cunningham in the high jump. Cunningham, 18, is the daughter of retired NFL Pro Bowl quarterback Randall Cunningham.
- 2008 Olympic champion Dawn Harper-Nelson versus 2013 World champion Brianna Rollins in the 100m hurdles.
STREAM: Drake Relays: 3-5 p.m. ET
MORE: Full NBC Olympic trials broadcast schedule