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Bode Talks About Second Win


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Madonna di Campiglio, Italy Dec. 11, 2001 (USSA)–Bode Miller sits down with reporters to answer questions after his second World Cup win in as many days. Miller is the first American to collect World Cup slalom and giant slalom wins since 1983.

Go through the experience tonight
The second run tonight was good. I don’t know exactly how pressure works, but when I was at the start and I watched all those guys ski, Rocca,Stiansen, JP Vidal — there’s a little TV in the start, don’t know if it’s a good deal or not. I thought everyone of them put down an incredible run. Ithought JP’s run was perfect. Then I saw Rocca come down and beat him

But that’s probably my favorite thing in the world to see someone ski such a great run, then come down and kick their ass.

The first run I skied well, but I didn’t ski it like I did the second run. I had to adjust a little bit because I was running 25 and it was sketchy in a fewspots. I held back in a few spots and was conservative in a few spots.

But you don’t win on the first run, but I knew it was the second run I would have to turn it on. But when I looked and watched all those skis, that’swhat brings out the best in you and that’s what happened tonight.

What’s the difference from past few years
Slalom is a real finicky sport. It’s small things that can take you out of a course. Some of it can just be in your head and if you just get in thatzone and can do anything you want, that’s what happened to me tonight. If you feel like that, there’s a lot less chance of anything going wrong. Thepast few years I’ve felt good but things just didn’t go my way. When you get into it, though, things can go your way.

The way I skied tonight, it was unbeatable — it was heaven tonight.

Yesterday in the GS was the first time I’ve done that, really gone all out. The second run today wasn’t ballistic. If I went up again I could ski itfaster. The fact I won the first run gave me the confidence so I knew I could do it.

Just standing there at the top looking out on the top of the world, I knew I could do it. My skis are great, my boots are great, all my teammatesare there and feeling good for me.

Describe the last few days
Ski racing is one of those things where it takes forever — you work for years and years for a short period of performance. When you work for awhole year of training for a few two-minute races, then you pull something off like I did yesterday after being on the wrong side of things by a fewhundreths in the past. I look at it that everything goes both ways and it’s about time it turned around for me.

I’m pretty tough, so I hang in there. When it’s time to race, it’s time to race. My back was sore and hurts but that’s mostly from the seven-hourcar ride after a super G and a downhill and a GS. But once I went out of the gate, I didn’t feel a thing.

Emotions of whirlwind
The best way for me to describe it is, imagine working your entire life for one thing and watching all your dreams and all your aspirations cometrue, all at once. That’s what’s happened to me the last two days.

Before the second run I talked to my mom and it was just like always. She said just do what you’ve always been doing. It was really good to talk toher and get that confirmation that’s it just me and I’m racing the way I always have. I feel the way I always have and it’s finally coming to a head.

Difference between now and a year ago
No difference, it’s the same me. There’s no way to put your finger on it.

Tonight they were so fired up. That’s what’s good about being on this team right now, they were all really psyched.

Are you in a groove you can stay in
I think both the last two races here, and in Aspen and Soelden, I’m skiing within myself and I have that gear I hadn’t tapped into yet. I think what’sgood about it is that I’m skiing within myself, the same way I’m skiing in training — maybe eveslower — but if I make a mistake now and decide torisk it and go for the win, I have this gear I can snap it into and go faster than normally and make up time.

I’m sure it all goes in waves, but I feel comfortable and my body feels good. Fischer makes the best skis in the world right now and the hills are ingreat shape for me to stay in shape.

If you gave it your all, how can you give more
I skied as hard as I did today. Even though I talk about a second gear, today was the purest slalom I’ve ever skied — even though I saw Rocca andStiansen ski perfect slalom runs — I had to give it everything I had. If I didn’t give it 100%, I wasn’t going to win. It may be a contradiction butthere’s also an unknown — how much faster CAN you ski. It would be fun to go back and ski again, to see how much time I could take off.

Are you taking less risks now?
A lot of people have asked, why haven’t you taken less risks. But in the last two or three years I can ski without as many risks and still do what Iwant to do. To be able to go in and out of that gear on my own in training is great. If I don’t have to do it in races, I would just as soon ski as I didtonight. It was as hard as I can ski. But it is smoother. Jesse (Hunt) said it was the first time I wasn’t concerned about me falling.

How familiar are you with the Mahres?
I watched the (Mahre) brothers and my uncle was in their era competing against them when they were young. I’ve heard all the stories. I watchedthem in the ’84 Olympics, I was pretty young, but it was big tonight to win here. I’ve seen the book with the names of the people who have won here– the Americans and the best racers in the sport — and having my name added to it is pretty good.

I talked to Phil in Loveland. It’s cool to talk to those guys who have an understanding of the sport as those guys do, just ask them about theircareer and how they dealt with certain things.

I’m not skiing four events fulltime. If it works out, like it did in Val d’Isere where I’m there for a different event and for the combined, I’ll do it, butwhat happened to Beltrametti and Cavagnoud this year, the best in the world, that’s a real wakeup call with the risks we’re taking out here arereal. I don’t think it’s worth hiding from those risks, but I want to minimize them. I don’t know if I’ll ski the downhills all year, but super G for sure. Idon’t think it hurts me, and in fact it helps me to ski those longer races. I felt that coming out of Val d’Isere, where I got flagged in the downhillafter two minutes and then had to get in a helicopter and run it again — that type of thing you don’t get anywhere else, with the intensity of it,that intensity that you need training with.

Injuries in sport
More and more athletes are pushing themselves harder and harder. When you watch Beltrametti race, he goes out for it to win EVERY time. Hecompetes at his top level every time. To see that courage rewarded with paralysis is not very nice at all. He’s a good guy, so it shows there’s nodiscrimination. It can happen to anyone.

Confidence from Aspen
I think it’s more or less ski racing is ski racing for me, not slalom or GS. It’s getting yourself in shape to ski hard that day. For me that came outof the training this summer. But Aspen was a breakthrough for me. It seemed like it was shutting off a jinx somewhere. But now I think I’ve leftthat behind and I can look forward to skiing hard from the start.

Comfortalbe being a front-runner
It doesn’t bother me at all. I guess if I looked in hindsight it was the most pressure I’ve ever been on before, winning th first run, coming off a winin GS, and seeing the guys before me leading by a half-second, it was pretty tense up there — a lot of energy. That type of feeling for me is good.Nothing I like more than seeing someone compete at the top level and then getting to kick their ass. that’s the feeling I want to take into theOlympics.into theOlympics.