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

U.S. men’s gymnastics team named for world championships

Asher Hong
Allison and John Cheng/USA Gymnastics
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Asher Hong, Colt Walker and world pommel horse champion Stephen Nedoroscik were named to the last three spots on the U.S. men’s gymnastics team for the world championships that start in three weeks.

Brody Malone and Donnell Whittenburg earned the first spots on the team by placing first and second in the all-around at August’s U.S. Championships.

Hong, Walker and Nedoroscik were chosen by a committee after two days of selection camp competition in Colorado Springs this week. Malone and Whittenburg did not compete at the camp.

Hong, 18, will become the youngest U.S. man to compete at worlds since Danell Leyva in 2009. He nearly earned a spot on the team at the U.S. Championships, but erred on his 12th and final routine of that meet to drop from second to third in the all-around. At this week’s camp, Hong had the lowest all-around total of the four men competing on all six apparatuses, but selectors still chose him over Tokyo Olympians Yul Moldauer and Shane Wiskus.

Walker, a Stanford junior, will make his world championships debut. He would have placed second at nationals in August if a bonus system for attempting difficult skills wasn’t in place. With that bonus system not in place at the selection camp, he had the highest all-around total. The bonus system is not used at international meets such as world championships.

Nedoroscik rebounded from missing the Tokyo Olympic team to become the first American to win a world title on pommel horse last fall. Though he is the lone active U.S. male gymnast with a global gold medal, he was in danger of missing this five-man team because of struggles on the horse at the U.S. Championships. Nedoroscik, who does not compete on the other five apparatuses, put up his best horse routine of the season on the last day of the selection camp Wednesday.

Moldauer, who tweeted that he was sick all last week, was named the traveling alternate for worlds in Liverpool, Great Britain. It would be the first time that Moldauer, who was fourth in the all-around at last fall’s worlds, does not compete at worlds since 2015.

Though the U.S. has not made the team podium at an Olympics or worlds since 2014, it is boosted this year by the absence of Olympic champion Russia, whose athletes are banned indefinitely due to the war in Ukraine. In recent years, the U.S. has been among the nations in the second tier behind China, Japan and Russia, including in Tokyo, where the Americans were fifth.

The U.S. women’s world team of five will be announced after a selection camp in two weeks. Tokyo Olympians Jade Carey and Jordan Chiles are in contention.

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Paris 2024 Olympic marathon route unveiled

Paris 2024 Olympic Marathon
Paris 2024
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The 2024 Olympic marathon route will take runners from Paris to Versailles and back.

The route announcement was made on the 233rd anniversary of one of the early, significant events of the French Revolution: the Women’s March on Versailles — “to pay tribute to the thousands of women who started their march at city hall to Versailles to take up their grievances to the king and ask for bread,” Paris 2024 President Tony Estanguet said.

Last December, organizers announced the marathons will start at Hôtel de Ville (city hall, opposite Notre-Dame off the Seine River) and end at Les Invalides, a complex of museums and monuments one mile southeast of the Eiffel Tower.

On Wednesday, the rest of the route was unveiled — traversing the banks of the Seine west to the Palace of Versailles and then back east, passing the Eiffel Tower before the finish.

The men’s and women’s marathons will be on the last two days of the Games at 8 a.m. local time (2 a.m. ET). It will be the first time that the women’s marathon is held on the last day of the Games after the men’s marathon traditionally occupied that slot.

A mass public marathon will also be held on the Olympic marathon route. The date has not been announced.

The full list of highlights among the marathon course:

• Hôtel de ville de Paris (start)
• Bourse de commerce
• Palais Brongniart
• Opéra Garnier
• Place Vendôme
• Jardin des Tuileries
• The Louvre
• Place de la Concorde
• The bridges of Paris
(Pont de l’Alma; Alexandre III;
Iéna; and more)
• Grand Palais
• Palais de Tokyo
• Jardins du Trocadéro
• Maison de la Radio
• Manufacture et Musées
nationaux de Sèvres
• Forêt domaniale
des Fausses-Reposes
• Monuments Pershing –
Lafayette
• Château de Versailles
• Forêt domaniale de Meudon
• Parc André Citroën
• Eiffel Tower
• Musée Rodin
• Esplanade des Invalides (finish)

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