It’s Miller Time

17 Feb

I can’t believe it’s been 9 days since I last wrote an entry. Nine days since the 2014 Winter Olympics began in Sochi, Russia. These Olympics have been a bit confusing and disappointing, I think, for a lot of the American favorites, but one in particular has been having a particularly hard time with these Games, and not just because of the condition of the snow on which he’s been skiing.

Bode Miller, skiing in his fourth Olympics, came into these games with an enormous amount of pressure on him to go out on top, hoping to win Olympic gold and become the oldest skier in Olympic history to medal. He also had a lot of baggage coming into the games – his wife, Morgan, miscarried in January 2013 and his brother, snowboarder and 2014 Olympic hopeful Chelone “Chilly” Miller, passed away in April 2013 from a seizure that was apparently related to a head injury he suffered in a motorcycle accident a couple of years earlier.

Add to all of that the notorious inconsistence of the snow in Sochi, it’s no wonder Bode Miller hasn’t performed to people’s expectations. He did manage to tie for bronze in the Super-G alpine skiing event, making him the oldest Olympic alpine skiing medalist in history leaving him with the second-highest medal total for a male ski racer and tied for second among U.S. Winter Olympians in any sport. I think that’s pretty amazing.

Bode Miller with his 6th Olympic medal - the bronze he won for the Super-G alpine ski in the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games.

Bode Miller with his 6th Olympic medal – the bronze he won for the Super-G alpine ski in the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games.

What I didn’t think was amazing, however, was the post-race interview that NBC’s Christin Cooper – a former Olympian herself – conducted with Bode. It was to be expected that she would ask him about what the medal meant to him and how his brother figured into all of it. When Mr. Miller started getting choked up during his interview, Ms. Cooper continued to push the subject, asking him three more times about his dead brother.

Miller
: This was a little different. With my brother passing away, I really wanted to come back here and race the way he sends it. So this was a little different.

Cooper: Bode, you’re showing so much emotion down here. What’s going through your mind?

Miller: (Long pause) A lot, obviously. A long struggle coming in here. And, uh, just a tough year.

Cooper: I know you wanted to be here with Chilly experiencing these games, how much does it mean to you to come up with a great performance for him? And was it for him?

Miller: I mean, I don’t know it’s really for him. But I wanted to come here and uh — I don’t know, I guess make my self proud. (Pauses, then wipes away tears.)

Cooper: When you’re looking up in the sky at the start, we see you there and it just looks like you’re talking to somebody. What’s going on there?

Finally Miller broke down and fell to his knees on camera and had to remove himself from the interview.

NBC's Christin Cooper looks on as Bode Miller breaks down during their interview at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games.

NBC’s Christin Cooper looks on as Bode Miller breaks down during their interview at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games.

I understand that journalists have jobs to do, and this is a human interest story, but there’s a time and place for everything and there’s propriety – knowing when enough is enough. Couldn’t she have stopped with the first question about his brother when she could see that he was getting emotional? Yes, those questions would eventually be asked of him, but couldn’t they have been saved for Matt Lauer to ask during the late night interview after Mr. Miller had some time to catch his breath, hug his wife and sort out an emotion or two? Why did those questions have to be asked right then? What’s even ickier to me is that NBC had several hours to choose to edit out that section of the interview before it aired in the States and they chose to leave it in. You can watch the full interview here:  NBC’s Christin Cooper Makes Bode Miller Cry In Interview

Many have gone to the internet to share their feelings about Ms. Cooper’s interview and Bode Miller responded with a lot more class and dignity than I think I could have mustered:

Screen Shot 2014-02-17 at 1.29.42 AM

Bode Miller's response to Christin Cooper's interview with him on NBC following his bronze medal win in the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics.

Bode Miller’s response to Christin Cooper’s interview with him on NBC following his bronze medal win in the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics.

So what do you think?

Advertisements

One Response to “It’s Miller Time”

  1. Susan Williams February 17, 2014 at 6:34 am #

    AFTER she made him drop his head and cry, she sort of apologized…I couldn’t believe this whole exchange….you’re going to hammer me about my dead brother, and then say you’re sorry after you get what you want? I hope she got some static from her higher ups. What crust.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: