Bode Miller
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Bode Miller wants contract voided with eye on comeback

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Bode Miller is seeking to void a contract with his former ski sponsor restricting him from competing in the 2016-17 season, to potentially compete on different skis this season, according to court documents filed in California this week.

Court documents show a signed termination agreement dated May 2015 between Miller and Head USA, the company whose skis were formerly used by Miller, stating that Miller would not compete in World Cup or World Championships races until the 2017-18 season.

The complaint, filed Monday on behalf of the six-time Olympic medalist, states that Miller retired from ski racing after his last race at the February 2015 World Championships but has recently explored the possibility of coming out of retirement and competing this season. Miller crashed in his last competitive race, severing his right hamstring tendon.

After terminating his Head contract, Miller partnered with Bomber skis, though not originally to compete on them. Now, Miller wants the option to compete with Bomber.

“Since retiring from professional racing and no longer being as visible in the public eye, Bode’s ability to make money through endorsements has been greatly reduced,” the complaint read. “At the age of 39, Bode realized that his viability and marketability as a professional ski racer were rapidly dwindling, and that he needed to explore the possibility of coming out of retirement so that he could obtain quality endorsements to protect his family’s financial future. Bode discussed his financial concerns with [Bomber owner Robert] Siegel, and, in particular, the two discussed the possibility that Bode would return to racing in the 2016/2017 World Cup and World Championship season. … At age 39, it is likely Bode’s last real opportunity to competitively compete on the World Cup racing circuit and attract the lucrative endorsements needed to provide for his family.”

In recent months, Head has threatened legal action for breach of contract if Miller returned to ski racing this season using another company’s skis and has demanded that Miller announce by Monday that he will not compete in the 2016-17 season.

Although Miller is seeking to void his agreement with Head to potentially compete on Bomber skis, he has neither in widely reported comments stated that he retired nor that he definitively plans to race again.

In reported comments, Miller said in December 2015 there was “a good likelihood” he would race again but said earlier this month that he didn’t see “how it could possibly work.”

Miller is already the oldest U.S. Olympic Alpine skier in history. In 2018, he will be 40 years old, which is seven years older than the next-oldest U.S. Olympic Alpine skier in history.

The World Cup season begins Oct. 23 in Soelden, Austria.

VIDEO: Bode Miller’s crash in 2015 World Championships

Ghana Olympic skeleton slider’s helmet: rabbit escapes lion

Ron Leblanc
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It’s called The Rabbit Theory.

That’s what Akwasi Frimpong, Ghana’s first Olympic skeleton slider, calls his new helmet.

The one that he will wear in PyeongChang as the second athlete from his nation to compete at a Winter Games.

Frimpong, 31, tells an incredible story.

He said he was raised by his grandmother Minka in a one-room home with nine other children before joining his mom in the Netherlands at age 8 as an illegal immigrant and eventually moving to Utah.

Frimpong’s full story is here.

Frimpong’s life — before he converted from sprinting to bobsled to skeleton — was chronicled in a 2010 Dutch documentary tilted “Theorie van het Konjin” (translation: The Rabbit Theory).

“My former sprint coach Sammy Monsels talks about the analogy of a rabbit in a cage, ready to escape from a lion,” Frimpong said in an email Monday. “I am that rabbit, and I have escaped the lions [of my past]. I am no longer being eaten by all the things around my life.”

The helmet that he will wear sliding head-first down an icy chute in South Korea in three weeks draws attention to it.

The design is of a lion’s head with mouth agape and a pair of rabbits coming out. Plus the colors of the Ghanaian flag.

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MORE: Jamaica qualifies first Olympic women’s bobsled team

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USA Gymnastics leaders resign as more victims speak

USA Gymnastics
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LANSING, Mich. (AP) — USA Gymnastics announced the resignations of three key leaders Monday while more women and girls told a judge about being sexually assaulted at the hands of a sports doctor who spent years with Olympic gymnasts and other female athletes.

The resignations of chairman Paul Parilla, vice chairman Jay Binder and treasurer Bitsy Kelley were announced in Indianapolis while a judge in Lansing heard a fifth day of statements from women and girls who said they were molested by Larry Nassar.

“We support their decisions to resign at this time,” said Kerry Perry, president and CEO of USA Gymnastics, which is the national governing body for gymnastics. “We believe this step will allow us to more effectively move forward in implementing change within our organization.”

The board positions are volunteer and unpaid, but the resignations add to the months of turmoil. Steve Penny quit as president last March after critics said USA Gymnastics failed to protect gymnasts from abusive coaches and Nassar.

“New board leadership is necessary because the current leaders have been focused on establishing that they did nothing wrong,” USOC CEO Scott Blackmun said in a statement Monday. “USA Gymnastics needs to focus on supporting the brave survivors.”

USA Gymnastics last week said it was ending its long relationship with the Karolyi Ranch, the Huntsville, Texas, home of former national team coordinator Martha Karolyi and her husband, Bela. Some Olympians said they were assaulted there by Nassar.

Meanwhile, in Michigan, Nassar’s sentencing hearing continued Monday, raising the number of girls and women who have spoken to nearly 100 since last week.

“I want to you know that your face and the face of all of the sister survivor warriors — the whole army of you — I’ve heard your words,” Ingham County Circuit Judge Rosemarie Aquilina said after a woman spoke in her Michigan courtroom. “Your sister survivors and you are going through incomprehensible lengths, emotions and soul-searching to put your words together, to publicly stop (the) defendant, to publicly stop predators, to make people listen.”

Nassar, 54, has admitted molesting athletes during medical treatment when he was employed by Michigan State University and USA Gymnastics. He has already been sentenced to 60 years in prison for child pornography crimes.

Under a plea deal, he faces a minimum prison sentence of 25 to 40 years in the molestation case. The maximum term could be much higher.

“Larry, how many of us are there? Do you even know?” asked Clasina Syrboby, as she fought back tears while speaking for more than 20 minutes Monday. “You preyed on me, on us. You saw a way to take advantage of your position — the almighty and trusted gymnastics doctor. Shame on you Larry. Shame on you.

She and other victims also continued their criticism of Michigan State, USA Gymnastics and the U.S. Olympic Committee for not doing enough to stop Nassar when initial complaints were made.

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MORE: Watch, read Aly Raisman’s full testimony