2010 Winter Olympics: Bode Miller Gets The Bronze

Brian DiTullioSenior Writer IFebruary 15, 2010

WHISTLER, BC - FEBRUARY 15:  (L-R) Aksel Lund Svindal (silver) of Norway, Didier Defago (gold) of Switzerland and Bode Miller (bronze) of the United States celebrate after the Alpine skiing Men's Downhill at Whistler Creekside during the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics on February 15, 2010 in Whistler, Canada.  (Photo by Sandra Behne/Bongarts/Getty Images)
Sandra Behne/Getty Images

It wasn't a gold medal, but at least Bode Miller is not leaving Vancouver empty-handed.

It was a textbook Bode Miller downhill run, arms flailing on the turns, the crowd hanging on every shift of the body and skis.

After days of delays, the downhill skiing events got underway, and Miller quickly got the medal monkey off his back, exorcising the ghosts of Turin.

Miller won two silver medals eight years ago in Salt Lake City, but failed to reach the podium in five events in Turin four years ago amidst media scrutiny and the perception he partied harder than he trained.

Miller showed up to Vancouver a changed man, now a father, and told everyone who would listen things would be different this time.

Lacking the "whatever" attitude displayed in Italy, Miller looked a little frustrated at finishing third, but this is still his best Olympic finish since Salt Lake City.

Didier Defago, of Switzerland, clocked a time of 1:54.31, winning the gold medal on the Dave Murray course at Whistler Creekside. Norway's Aksel Lund Svindal won the silver.

Miller finished with a time of 1:54.40, and looked very tired as he crossed the finish line.

Miller did miss some training time last year, but he's been going pretty hard for the last few months, so the fatigue also could be a sign age is beginning to catch up with him.

Whether or not his age becomes a factor as the week wears on, and the compressed schedule wrings every last ounce of endurance training out of the athletes, at least Miller does not have to worry about getting a medal.

What this bronze medal can do for Miller, though, is spur him on through his next four events. He'll no longer be worried about winning a medal because that obstacle has been defeated.

With the prospect of another failed Olympics not a possibility, Miller can focus on doing what he's done time after time in the World Cup, win gold.

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