Bode Miller to skip season, 2018 Olympics ‘really unlikely’

AP
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Bode Miller will leave all the racing this season to his horses.

The six-time Olympic medalist is taking a break from competing on the World Cup circuit to spend more time with his family, test out a new line of ski equipment and oversee a barn full of promising thoroughbreds he owns.

Don’t read this as any sort of retirement, though. Not yet, anyway, even if Miller did turn 38 earlier this week. He is still keeping that door open, although he finds it unlikely that he will be flying out of the starting gate at the 2018 Winter Games in South Korea.

“It would be a cool thing to share with your kids, competing at a high level,” Miller said Thursday. “And fitness-wise, my body feels excellent. You never know, but I would say it’s really unlikely I’d go in ’18.”

Skiing took a backseat in May when he and his wife, pro beach volleyball player Morgan Beck Miller, welcomed a son.

“I haven’t slept in 4½ months,” cracked Bode Miller, who has two kids from previous relationships. “My priorities are so focused on the baby and family stuff. It’s really hard to manage all the other stuff.”

Miller is also getting more involved in projects such as training horses. He and a business partner own 15 horses and a barn in Maryland. Among his good friends is Bob Baffert, the trainer of Triple Crown winner American Pharoah.

“Our program is a super, super elite training program,” Miller said. “It’s training, but you can’t really call it training. In ski racing, it’s conditioning. That’s what we’re doing — conditioning the [the horses] mentally and physically to compete.”

One of his horses is Ravenheart, who will compete this weekend at the Maryland Million Nursery. Miller picked out Ravenheart and named him after his favorite fantasy novel.

“Each one of these horses is like my kid,” Miller said. “When you really invest yourself and your energy into an animal, you’re much more invested in the outcome. It hurts more when they lose or when they hurt themselves. But you get a lot more when they win.”

Miller has captured 33 World Cup races and two overall titles. He has also earned three Olympic silver medals and two bronze to go with a gold in the super-combined at the 2010 Vancouver Games.

He had surgery in November to fix a herniated disk in his back and didn’t return until the world championships three months later in Beaver Creek, Colorado. He crashed during the super-G and severed his right hamstring tendon.

Miller skied in Europe and Chile over the summer with no trouble — or hint of pain.

“My hamstring seems to have no real impact on my ability to ski, and my body feels great,” said Miller. “My back feels fine. In terms of that, everything feels great.”

Miller, who split from his sponsor Head, has been testing out equipment for Bomber Ski, a company he is collaborating with that makes handcrafted skis in a race lab in Italy.

U.S. ski coach Sasha Rearick doesn’t think the world has seen the last of Miller on a race hill.

“He’s Bode Miller. He loves it. He loves expressing himself on snow,” Rearick recently said. “He loves pushing the limits. If he’s got a new challenge, find something fun for him, he’s going to go full at it.”

As for when he might retire, well, Miller explained it this way: “The way it works in ski racing — you just don’t show up anymore.”

Sort of like this?

“I would tell people, ‘Look, I’m not going to do this anymore,’ and lay it out my plans,” Miller said. “I haven’t drafted that up yet. As of now, it’s not the likely outcome. But you never know.

“I’m juggling a lot of different things, and my family is my top priority. It comes down to whether or not we can manage [ski racing] with my family.”

MORE BODE MILLER: On greatest skier of all time, Kitzbuehel, more in Q&A

Francesco Friedrich, most decorated bobsledder in history, rebounds for 12th world title

Francesco Friedrich
Getty
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A week after his first major championships defeat in seven years, German Francesco Friedrich returned to his winning ways to close the world bobsled championships on Sunday.

Friedrich’s four-man sled won the world title by 69 hundredths of a second over British and Latvian sleds that tied for silver, combining times from four runs over the last two days in St. Moritz, Switzerland.

Geoff Gadbois drove the lone U.S. sled in the field, finishing 18th.

Friedrich, the most decorated bobsledder in history, extended his records with a fifth consecutive world four-man title and 12th world championship between two- and four-man events.

Germany swept all four titles at bobsled worlds with four different drivers taking gold.

Friedrich had won 12 consecutive Olympic or world titles before taking two-man silver at worlds last week in St. Moritz, Switzerland. He was dethroned in that event by countryman Johannes Lochner.

Friedrich has been hampered recently by a muscle injury from sprint training in late December. Going into worlds, Lochner had won four consecutive World Cup two-man races, while Hall won the last two World Cups in four-man.

Friedrich, 32, said before this season that he plans to make the 2026 Milan-Cortina Winter Games his final competition. Friedrich and push athlete Thorsten Margis can break the record of four career Olympic bobsled gold medals that they currently share with retired Germans Andre Lange and Kevin Kuske.

The World Cup season concludes with stops in Igls, Austria, and Sigulda, Latvia, the next two weekends.

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2023 World Alpine Skiing Championships TV, live stream schedule

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Every race of the world Alpine skiing championships airs live on Peacock from Feb. 6-19.

France hosts the biennial worlds in Meribel and Courchevel — six women’s races, six men’s races and one mixed-gender team event.

Mikaela Shiffrin is the headliner, in the midst of her most successful season in four years with a tour-leading 11 World Cup wins in 23 starts. Shiffrin is up to 85 career World Cup victories, one shy of Ingemar Stenmark‘s record accumulated over the 1970s and ’80s.

World championships races do not count in the World Cup tally.

Shiffrin is expected to race at least four times at worlds, starting with Monday’s combined. She earned a medal in 11 of her 13 career world championships races, including each of the last 10 dating to 2015.

Shiffrin won at least one race at each of the last five world championships (nobody has gold from six different worlds). Her six total golds and 11 total medals are American records. At this edition, she can become the most decorated skier in modern world championships history from any nation.

She enters one medal shy of the record for most individual world championships medals since World War II (Norway’s Kjetil Andre Aamodt) and four medals shy of the all-time record. (Worlds were held annually in the 1930s, albeit with fewer races.)

She is also one gold medal shy of the post-World War II individual record shared by Austrian Toni Sailer, Frenchwoman Marielle Goitschel and Swede Anja Pärson.

The other favorites at these worlds include Italian Sofia Goggia, the world’s top female downhiller this season, and the two leading men: Swiss Marco Odermatt (No. 1 in super-G and giant slalom) and Norwegian Aleksander Aamodt Kilde (No. 1 in downhill).

2023 World Alpine Skiing Championships Broadcast Schedule

Date Event Time (ET) Platform
Mon., Feb. 6 Women’s Combined Super-G Run 5 a.m. Peacock
Women’s Combined Slalom Run 8:30 a.m. Peacock
Tues., Feb. 7 Men’s Combined Super-G Run 5 a.m. Peacock
Men’s Combined Slalom Run 8:30 a.m. Peacock
Wed., Feb. 8 Women’s Super-G 5:30 a.m. Peacock
Thu., Feb. 9 Men’s Super-G 5:30 a.m. Peacock
Sat., Feb. 11 Women’s Downhill 5 a.m. Peacock
Highlights 2:30 p.m.* NBC, Peacock
Sun., Feb. 12 Men’s Downhill 5 a.m Peacock
Highlights 3 p.m.* NBC, Peacock
Tue., Feb. 14 Team Parallel 6:15 a.m. Peacock
Men’s/Women’s Parallel Qualifying 11 a.m. Peacock
Wed., Feb. 15 Men’s/Women’s Parallel 6 a.m. Peacock
Thu., Feb. 16 Women’s Giant Slalom Run 1 4 a.m. Peacock
Women’s Giant Slalom Run 2 7:30 a.m. Peacock
Fri., Feb. 17 Men’s Giant Slalom Run 1 4 a.m. Peacock
Men’s Giant Slalom Run 2 7:30 a.m. Peacock
Sat., Feb. 18 Women’s Slalom Run 1 4 a.m. Peacock
Women’s Slalom Run 2 7:30 a.m. Peacock
Highlights 2:30 p.m.* NBC, Peacock
Sun., Feb. 19 Men’s Slalom Run 1 4 a.m. Peacock
Men’s Slalom Run 2 7:30 a.m. Peacock
Highlights 3 p.m.* NBC, Peacock

*Delayed broadcast
*All NBC coverage streams on NBCSports.com/live and the NBC Sports app for TV subscribers.

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