Bode Miller says ‘good likelihood’ of comeback

Bode Miller
AP
3 Comments

BEAVER CREEK, Colo. (AP) — Bode Miller being Bode Miller, he will of course try to go as fast as he can in a downhill training run Wednesday. Doesn’t matter if there’s nothing at stake since he’s only testing out the hill or that he’s hardly in ”go crazy” form.

That’s just the way he’s wired.

Although he’s taking a break from World Cup racing this season, the 38-year-old Miller said he will serve as a forerunner in Beaver Creek for one day only and wear cameras mounted on his helmet and ski pole. Quick disclaimer: The six-time Olympic medalist can’t fully guarantee the safety of those cameras.

Sure, he will play it safe, but safe to Miller is a relative term.

Don’t be surprised if his time is fast, either. He certainly wouldn’t be as he returns to a venue where he wiped out last February during a World Championships super-G race and severed his right hamstring tendon.

”There’s no question I have the ability to be fast. I have no doubt there,” Miller said in a phone interview with The Associated Press. ”I know what I’m capable of doing because I know how to take risks. I’m better at managing risk than anyone else on the World Cup.”

No denying that. He’s won 33 World Cup races and two overall titles with his risk-taking style.

While this is just a friendly meander down the Birds of Prey hill, Miller’s treating it almost like a race and has a plan of attack in mind. He will charge 100 percent up top because ”there’s no risk.” He’ll let the skis he’s using — Bomber Ski, a company he’s now collaborating with after a split from Head — do their thing. But then in the middle, when the course turns gnarly, he’ll ”take it easy” before cranking it up again.

”Very excited,” Miller said. ”But I know I can’t go out there and go crazy, because I’m not in that kind of form yet.”

When he passes the spot where he crashed last February, he said he won’t think twice.

”Because I’ve come back to places lot of times where I’ve crashed,” said Miller, who will also serve as an NBC commentator for the races this week, beginning Friday with a downhill. ”I’m not too worried about it. That was a freak accident.”

U.S. men’s coach Sasha Rearick can’t wait to see how Miller looks on the hill. He may just be super speedy, which could be a glimpse of things to come.

”I’d love to have him back and throwing down,” Rearick said. ”It’s good for the sport, good for the team and good for him. Having him come to the big events is good for everybody.”

As Miller’s said in the past, a return to racing isn’t out of the picture. Not likely this season, but possibly down the road and in a limited capacity.

”I don’t commit to coming back. But I don’t commit to quitting, either,” said Miller, who has said a 2018 Olympic appearance is “really unlikely.” ”But I think that there’s a good likelihood that I do a few races, because of the benefits of Bomber. It’s going to be an exciting time with a new company.

”I think there’s enough benefit for me inside of that, that it really is worthwhile. How it goes down, I don’t know.”

That’s because his family remains his top priority. He and his wife, pro beach volleyball player Morgan Miller, welcomed a son in May.

”The commitment for my family is pretty extreme these days,” said Miller, who’s also into horse racing and owns a barn full of promising thoroughbreds. ”But I can see doing some racing. I’m never going to do the full circuit again – that’s way too time-consuming and demanding. I need to manage how that all goes down.”

Could he see himself on a podium again?

”There’s no question I have the ability to win,” Miller said. ”There are young skiers out there who are fit and hungry and charging and that’s the way it always is. The kids are good.

”But yeah, I have no doubt I can still be relevant. It’s just a matter of managing it with the rest of my priorities.”

VIDEO: Bode Miller crashes in World Championships super-G

Svetlana Romashina, seven-time Olympic champion artistic swimmer, retires

Svetlana Romashina
Getty
0 Comments

Russian Svetlana Romashina, the most decorated artistic swimmer in Olympic history with seven gold medals, announced her retirement at age 33.

Romashina entered seven Olympic artistic swimming events and won all of them, starting in 2008. She won four Olympic titles in the team event and three in the duet (two with Nataliya Ishchenko and one with Svetlana Kolesnichenko).

The Tokyo Games marked her last major competition.

Romashina is the only woman to go undefeated in her Olympic career while entering seven or more events. The only man to do so was American track and field athlete Ray Ewry, who won all eight of his Olympic starts from 1900-08, according to Olympedia.org.

Romashina also won 21 world championships medals — all gold, second in aquatics history behind Michael Phelps‘ 26.

She took nearly two years off after giving birth to daughter Alexandra in November 2017, then came back to win three golds at her last world championships in 2019 and two golds at her last Olympics in 2021.

Romashina is now an artistic swimming coach, according to Russian media.

Russian swimmers swept the Olympic duet and team titles at each of the last six Olympics.

Russians have been banned from international competition since March due to the war in Ukraine.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

Mikaela Shiffrin, three gates from gold, skis out of world championships combined

0 Comments

Mikaela Shiffrin was three gates from a record-tying seventh world championships gold medal when she lost her balance and straddled a gate, skiing out of the first race of worlds on Monday.

Italian Federica Brignone won the women’s combined instead, prevailing by 1.62 seconds over Swiss Wendy Holdener, the largest Olympic or world championships men’s or women’s margin of victory in the event since it switched from three runs to two in 2007.

Austrian Ricarda Haaser took bronze in an event that is one run of super-G followed by one run of slalom.

At 32, Brignone, the 2020 World Cup overall champion, won her first global title and became the oldest female world champion in any event.

“What was missing in my career was a gold medal,” she said. “So I’m old. No, I’m just kidding.”

ALPINE WORLDS: Results | Broadcast Schedule

Shiffrin was sixth fastest in the opening super-G run, 96 hundredths behind Brignone. She skied aggressively in the slalom in a bid to beat Brignone. Shiffrin cut the gap to eight hundredths by the last intermediate split with about 10 seconds left on the course in Meribel, France.

Shiffrin looked set to overtake Brignone until tripping up slightly with five gates left. It compounded, and Shiffrin couldn’t save the run, losing control, straddling the third-to-last gate and skiing out. The timing system still registered her finish — 34 hundredths faster than Brignone — but it was quickly corrected to the obvious disqualification.

Asked on French TV if she lost focus, Shiffrin said, “People are going to say that no matter what.”

“The surface changed a little bit on these last gates, so [on pre-race] inspection I saw it’s a bit more unstable on the snow,” she added. “I tried to be aware of that, but I knew that if I had a chance to make up nine tenths on Federica, or more than that, like one second, I had to push like crazy. So I did, and I had a very good run. I’m really happy with my skiing.”

It marked Shiffrin’s first time skiing out since she did so in three races at last February’s Olympics, where her best individual finish was ninth in five races. At the Olympics, she skied out within the first 13 seconds in each instance. On Monday, she was more than 40 seconds into her run.

“I was thinking, now I’m going to go through the mixed zone. and everyone’s going to ask, ‘Oh, is this Beijing again?'” Shiffrin said. “I didn’t really think about that for myself, but more for the people asking. But I also said before, coming into this world champs multiple times, I’m not afraid if it happens again. What if I don’t finish every run? What happened last year, and I survived. And then I’ve had some pretty amazing races this season. So I would take the season that I’ve had with no medals at the world championships. If it’s either/or, then I would take that. I’m happy with it. But I’m going to be pushing for medals, because that’s what you do at world champs. You wear your heart on your sleeve, and you go for it. I’m not afraid of the consequences, as long as I have that mentality, which I had today.”

NBC Sports analyst Steve Porino said what happened Monday was “completely different” from the Olympics, calling it “an error of aggression.”

“It certainly wasn’t nerves that sent her out,” Porino said on the Peacock broadcast. “This was Shiffrin knowing that she had to have a huge run to get the gold medal.

“The way she went out this time, I think she can brush that one off.”

Shiffrin was bidding to tie the modern-era records for individual world championships gold medals (seven) and total medals (12). Coming into Monday, she earned a medal in her last 10 world championships races dating to 2015.

Her next chance to match those records comes in Wednesday’s super-G, where she is a medal contender. Norway’s Ragnhild Mowinckel is the world’s top-ranked super-G skier through five races on the World Cup this season, though she was 71 hundredths behind Brignone in Monday’s super-G run.

Shiffrin has raced two super-Gs this season with a win and a seventh place.

She is expected to race three more times over the two-week worlds, which is separate from the World Cup circuit that she has torn up this season.

Shiffrin has a tour-leading 11 World Cup wins in 23 starts across all disciplines since November, moving her one shy of the career victories record of 86 accumulated by Swede Ingemar Stenmark in the 1970s and ’80s. Again, world championships races do not count toward the World Cup, which picks back up after worlds end in late February.

Worlds continue Tuesday with the men’s combined.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!