SOCHI, Russia – Bode Miller became the oldest man to win an Olympic alpine skiing medal Sunday but the 36-year-old American could not prevent Norway’s Kjetil Jansrud from taking a surprise gold in the super-G at Sochi.
Nick Zaccardi of NBC Sports tweeted a photo of an understandably emotional Miller:
NBC had already established Miller’s quest as an emotional story line, putting a microphone on his wife, Morgan, to hear her reactions to his races, and having the couple sit for an interview with Tom Brokaw.
Many are now criticizing NBC’s skiing analyst Christin Cooper for pushing Miller too far in the interview.
But Miller sent out a tweet telling critics to back off.
Miller led for much of the competition until later starters Jansrud and Andrew Weibrecht left him in a tie for the bronze medal with Canada’s Jan Hudec.
The 28-year-old Jansrud won bronze in the downhill last week so his triumph was not entirely unexpected while Miller’s teammate Weibrecht had claimed the super-G bronze in Vancouver four years before enduring a period of poor results.
“It’s a little bit of a cliche, but it’s something you dream about since you’re a kid. I’m one of those kids. Being here is an amazing feeling,” he said.
Weibrecht was just pleased to have found form at exactly the right time to come home 0.30 seconds adrift of the winner.
“It’s been a pretty difficult four years. It’s one of those things: you can only be beaten down so many times before you look at what you’re doing.
“Today is a great affirmation of what I’ve been doing and what I’ve done. I can still compete at this level.”
Miller, was winning his sixth Olympic medal after below-par showings in the downhill and super-combined events.
“I’m happy to not have made catastrophic mistakes,” was his rather downbeat verdict.
The same could not be said for his compatriot and super-G world champion Ted Ligety, who struggled to 14th place, while defending Olympic champion in the discipline, Aksel Lund Svindal, also never challenged for the medals.
But at least Svindal’s fellow Norwegian Jansrud maintained their country’s proud tradition, having now won the last four Olympic super-G titles.