Bode Miller bounced back from disappointing results in the men's downhill and super combined events to capture a bronze medal in the super-G. It's the sixth Olympic medal of his career.
Wayne Drehs of ESPN indicates that Miller is the oldest Alpine medalist in history:
With his bronze in today's super-G @MillerBode becomes the oldest Alpine medalist in Olympic history.— Wayne Drehs (@espnWD) February 16, 2014
WSJ Asia provides the complete podium results:
Breaking: Norway's Jansrud wins super-G. Weibrecht of U.S. in second. U.S.'s Miller, Canada's Hudec share bronze. http://t.co/oVpAWv4Mx7— WSJ Asia (@WSJAsia) February 16, 2014
Nick Zaccardi of NBC Sports tweeted a photo of an understandably emotional Miller:
Bode Miller is wiping away tears ... pic.twitter.com/4AinXOZBe2— Nick Zaccardi (@nzaccardi) February 16, 2014
Miller entered the Games with a chance to rack up several medals for the United States. He was among the podium contenders in each of the first two events, the downhill and super combined, but he simply failed to deliver his best runs when he needed them.
Barry Svrluga of The Washington Post provided comments from the American star after the combined event. He lamented the missed opportunities he had in both phases of the competition that cost him a spot in the top three:
Obviously, I should've skied better in the downhill. If I had skied well, I would've been a second faster probably, and that puts me on the podium. But I should've skied a second-and-a-half faster in the slalom, at least, and that would've put me on the podium. Either one.
The overall results were similar to the 2006 Games in Turin. Miller arrived to Italy as a favorite or contender in five events and failed to win a single medal. When you're talking about races decided by fractions of a second the margin for error is minimal, as he found out.
While the 36-year-old New Hampshire native arrived to Sochi with a strong legacy already in place, he was expected to add to it. Failing to add any medals to his collection would have been looked back upon as another major missed opportunity.
So there was a growing amount of pressure on his shoulders heading into the super-G. He won silver in the event four years ago in Vancouver and also earned a couple of World Championship medals in the discipline earlier in his career.
As the earlier events showed, past success doesn't always guarantee future results. It was a great chance for Miller to end the frustration and get on the podium, though.
He did exactly that.
Miller put together his best performance of the Olympics so far and it earned him the long-awaited trip to a podium in Sochi. It might not end up being as successful of a Games as he had hoped, but he made sure he won't return home empty-handed.
Miller, who first represented the United States at the Olympic level in 1998, now has six medals to his credit. It makes him one of the nation's most decorated winter Olympians and, making the feat even more impressive, he's done it across four different disciplines.
Looking ahead, Miller will get a couple days off before his slalom runs. He'll look to build off this momentum from his bronze-medal win and hopefully continue turning things around. Considering so many big American names have failed to earn any hardware, Miller's bronze is a breath of fresh air.