Behind The Gold
2:35 pm
Mon December 9, 2013

Behind The Gold: Alpine Combined Skier Bode Miller

Bode Miller at the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympic Games.
Bode Miller at the 2002 Salt Lake City Winter Olympic Games.

In improbable style, this future Olympic champion debuted with two silvers in Salt Lake City.

Hi, this is Tom Kelly, and I’ll be right back with the Olympic story Behind The Gold.

The world got to know the amazing story of Bode Miller on a global stage as the Olympic Winter Games came to Salt Lake City in 2002. The independent, care-free New Hampshire native was somewhat of a sensation, but he preferred to let his skiing do the talking.

The alpine combined is the ultimate test – high speed of downhill and precision of slalom. Miller had a shot in the combined if he could turn in a decent downhill and somehow finish two runs of slalom. Starting 15th in the downhill, Miller rocketed down the course helter-skelter, carrying tremendous speed. Then, the unthinkable happened. At more than 65 mph, Miller fell hard on his left side. Somehow he righted himself, continued down the course and finished 15th – well out of medal hope. Or was it?

But his two runs of slalom were the quintessential Olympic medal performance – taking every single risk, putting it all on the line and earning every ounce of that Olympic silver. Miller won the run by an unthinkable 1.18 seconds to take silver. And a week later, in the Giant Slalom at Park City.

Today, Miller remains one of ski racing’s greatest stars and is seeking a fifth Olympics in Sochi.

This is Tom Kelly with Behind The Gold. Only in Park City. Only on KPCW.

Behind the Gold is sponsored by Rosenberg Cooley Metcalf and the Utah Olympic Park 'Road to Sochi' events.