February 11, 2007
ARE, SWEDEN - (USST News Bureau Release) - Defending champion Bode Miller (Bretton Woods, NH) led going into a fog bank in mid-course Sunday but finished seventh in the downhill at the 2007 FIS Alpine World Ski Championships as Norway's Axel Lund Svindal charged to the gold medal.NBC will have downhill TV coverage Saturday, Feb. 17 at 2:30 p.m. ET. In addition, NBCSports.com and MediaZone.com are providing live coverage of every race through the end of the championships on Feb. 18. There also is live interval timing available at http://livetiming.usskiteam.com.Canadian Jan Hudec took silver and national favorite Patrik Jaerbyn, who - at 38 - became the oldest skier to medal at a World Championships, earned the bronze. Steven Nyman (Provo, UT), finished 21st after going down on his hip at one point, but willed himself out of a possible crash and heroically made it back on-course."I couldn't see a thing," Miller said after finishing in 1:45.95. Svindal, taking advantage of clear weather all the way through his run, had a time of 1:44.68. The downhill, postponed from Saturday by fog and poor visibility, was started 15 minutes late and halted several times as clouds moved in and out on the course."You can't compete in something like that," Miller added.He took the lead at the top by 0.01 and then tore into a foggy, flat light section and lost the lead for good. "I couldn't see ... and I just got really back, and you can't ski like that," he explained.
Warmer weather creates problems
"I feel on these hills I'm able to compete or beat anyone in the world," Miller said. "The fact it doesn't happen, like I said, you can always go back and look at reasons why it doesn't happen, and that's what we'll do - and have been doing. But in this case, a lot of the main reasons are nothing I could control, anyway, so it's hard to get bummed out about it..."After almost a week of sub-zero cold, the temperatures have moderated in the last two days, and with temperatures in the teens Fahrenheit, clouds of fog have rolled on and off the course, creating delays. Saturday, neither the women's DH training run nor the men's race were staged, forcing organizers to roll the men's DH back a day to create the second doubleheader of the worlds, despite the intermittent fog in the morning."It had a huge impact," Miller explained. "Anywhere else on the course you can manage it easier. On the very top, it's just more gliding turns and not as much terrain, but that one section where fog was has four or five technical, hard turns..."It's the part where I need to separate myself from the rest of the field because even though I'll always be in tough, be close up top, or ahead, that middle part is where it makes the hugest difference. There's only one section - five or six turns, off the flat and down to just below the Russi jump (just above the final pitch)...and if you can't see anything, you can't be aggressive down there."There are too many guys right now who can ski, so to think you can come in there with no visibility when other guys are coming in with great visibility, you just can't compete with that," he said.
No second self-administered gift for Nyman
"I gave myself an early present," Nyman said, by winning a DH Dec. 16 "in Val Gardena (Italy), but I couldn't pull off an early birthday present." He turns 25 Monday.Men's speed Head Coach Chris Brigham said, "It was a great race, just not our day. Steven and Bode skied well and had a big race, but Bode had that flat light and...well, that was the nature of the day. Steven had a big mistake up top and then on that fallaway, but he also had some outstanding sections."Aksel skied great, the Canadians had a great day...and what can you say about Patrik? He's 38 and medals at home. And we had higher expectations for these three races, but didn't deliver."The next men's race is the giant slalom Wednesday. The four U.S. starters will be Miller, Ted Ligety (Park City, UT), Jiimmy Cochran (Keene, NH) and Tim Jitloff (Reno, NV).For complete results: