VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- It took just eight seconds for Bode Miller's bid for Olympic history to be denied. That's how long it took for the Franconia, N.H. to ski off course during the first run of the men's slalom this morning at foggy Whistler Mountain, earning a disqualification in his final event here.
But no matter, really. Miller did not secure a fourth Alpine medal, which would have been a record for a single skier at the Winter Olympics, but he does depart with a gold, silver, and bronze -- not mention a repaired reputation after his disappointing bad-boy performance in Turin, Italy four years ago.
After his race today -- the final of his five events here -- the 32-year-old Miller was gracious and somewhat reflective regarding his approach today and his third career Olympics overall. Here are a few of his comments:
On his Olympic experience here overall: “I really couldn't be much happier. To have three medals, and the two medals I didn't get I skied hard. I came out, I was ready, I was prepared that's all the stuff you can do. I know the risk I'm taking -- not many people do.
“This was challenging today in a lot of different ways. But I was still ready to go and prepared to do it. It doesn't always go your way. But overall this Olympics was amazing how many things went my way.
On how his experience here affected his attitude toward skiing: "In terms of medals, it didn't change anything. In terms of skiing, it's really positive. There are sneaky little facts that make the Olympics great. I was able to tap into them and use them to my advantage."
On why he skied out in the slalom: "The snow was really grabby. I think that's part of what's causing so many problems for the guys. We haven't skied on anything like this all year -- it's the first time any of us have seen this snow. Your skis work totally differently. That's throwing guys off and making it that much more challenging.”
On his aggressiveness: “I wanted to finish in the slalom -- I wanted to do everything I could. I wanted to go out and ski hard, 100-percent slalom and see where I stacked up.
"It's unfortunate to make a mistake so early in the course before you really have a rhythm for it. But that's the way slalom goes. When you take risks in slalom, you don't only take risks on the bottom half. You take it from the very first gate. And if you don't, you can give away a tenth of a second on the first two gates.
"You have to be willing to go out and pound through the very first gates 100 percent and make time every single spot you can, especially if you're me, there's chances you're going to be losing it little bits here and there.”
On how he will approach the rest of the World Cup season: "I'm going to stay focused, keep working hard, and keep busting my ass."