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Monday, February 15, 2010

PostHeaderIcon Bode Miller catches the Olympic fever

Bode Miller [image source] has skied only one race so far in Vancouver but he's already medaled more times in 2010 than he did all the last Olympics in Torino.

Today's even in the Men's Downhill saw Bode score a Bronze Medal in a very competitive race. He lost out to the Gold Medal winner by .09 seconds! And .02 behind the Silver.

The fact that Bode Miller could arrive in Vancouver and compete again has many people scratching their head. Is this the 2 Silver Medal winner from 2002? Or the heavily hyped, Nike-endorsed party animal who showed up in 2006 only to go home empty handed and claim the Olympics were no big deal?

Over the last four years it seems that Bode [he signs his autographs sans the last name] has finally grown up. A family and some time to reflect has that effect on a person some times....

Walking from the finish line to a news conference with a drug-testing official constantly trailing, Miller held a cell phone in his left hand while speaking to someone from the Europe-based Sky network. He held a Sharpie in his right hand while scribbling autograph after autograph -- no last name, just Bode -- on everything thrust his way: American flags, ticket stubs, shirts, cowbells. Bode paused to pose for photos, slap high-fives, shake hands and exchange hugs as fans shouted, "You're the man!" and "I knew you were going to do it!" and "Thanks, Bode!" and "We're proud of you!"

Just imagine what the reaction would have been had he won the gold medal and not the bronze.

This was the way it was supposed to be four years ago in Torino. But that was before the infamous "skiing drunk" interview, before the lackluster performances, before the late-night decathlon of bars. Before what Bode referred to Monday as all the "environmental stimulation" of the Olympics.


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Welcome to Olympic Updates, my continuing blog to following the Olympic Games. Founded in 2007, I have enjoyed providing news and information on the 2008 Beijing Summer Games and I look forward to keeping you up to date on the 2010 Vancouver Winter Games.

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