Bode Miller, who was one of the top contenders in the men's downhill event, failed to earn a place on the podium Sunday. The American's eighth-place finish was a major disappointment on Day 2 of the 2014 Olympics after he saw so much success four years ago.
The New York Times' Olympic feed passed along word of Miller's downhill fate, as well as reaction from his teammate, Travis Ganong:
No medal for Bode Miller in the downhill. After starting fast, he lost time at the bottom and stands in 6th after 15 skiiers.— NYT Olympics (@SochiNYT) February 9, 2014
Bode Miller's teammate Travis Ganong on Miller's mistake: "Bummer for him. Critical mistake at the wrong part of the course."— NYT Olympics (@SochiNYT) February 9, 2014
More from Ganong on Miller mistake: "Pinched a left-footed turn and hit the gate panel. Heading into an uphill you can't lose speed there."— NYT Olympics (@SochiNYT) February 9, 2014
USA Today's Joe Fleming provides his finishing time:
No good for Bode Miller. 2:06.75. Sixth— Joe Fleming (@ByJoeFleming) February 9, 2014
The Wall Street Journal noted the medal winners for the event:
Austrian Matthias Mayer wins the men's downhill. Christoff Innerhofer of Italy (silver) and Kjeitel Jansrud of Norway (bronze). #Sochi— WSJ Sports (@WSJSports) February 9, 2014
Fleming and Roxanna Scott, also of USA Today, tweeted out photos of an understandably disappointed Miller:
Making his fifth Olympic appearance for the United States, the 36-year-old was coming off his best Games after winning three medals, including a gold, in Vancouver.
He was confident about his chances in 2014. Barry Svrluga of The Washington Post provided comments from the skier ahead of the competition. Miller felt his preparation was putting him in a position to succeed:
I'd say I have a lot more experience. I know what the process is. It's easy for guys who are so excitable to push too hard, to do too much too early. I definitely know that winning a training run doesn't matter much. I've done that so many times. I think I have a good process for how to build into a race.
Unfortunately for Miller, things didn't play out as he hoped. Coming up short of the podium amid such high expectations is shades of 2006, when he arrived to Turin, Italy, with plenty of hype but failed to win a single medal.
Make no mistake: The Sochi course was providing a formidable test for the skiers. Miller had solid training runs, though, and appeared poised to bring home another medal.
What type of lasting legacy will Miller have?
A lack of regular competition over the past couple of years due to a knee injury could have been a factor. He hasn't needed that extra gear as often as he would have probably liked in between Olympics, but he arrived to Sochi healthy and ready to go.
In the end, it simply didn't translate into success in the downhill, the first Alpine skiing event of the Games. It shows that the margin for error, even for the top athletes in any discipline, is extremely thin on the Olympic stage.
The failure to medal in the downhill event will put extra pressure on Miller for the rest of the Olympics, but as Charles Robinson of Yahoo! notes, his best opportunities to medal are in front of him:
Bode Miller's flameout in downhill is a disappointment, but it wasn't his likely medal event. Super-G and super combined will be best shots.— Charles Robinson (@CharlesRobinson) February 9, 2014
If he can bounce back, the event will become an afterthought. If not, it will get viewed as the start of another frustrating Games for the American.