Bode Miller’s recent super-G medal at the Sochi Olympics makes him the oldest alpine skier to win an Olympic medal. At 36, he hadn’t won a race in two years and was sidelined all of last season with a knee injury. To top it off, Miller has publicly admitted he’s continued to struggle mentally and emotionally with the death of his brother, Chelone, who died at 29 in April — a thought that wasn’t far from Miller’s mind after his record-setting Olympic race.
Thanks for all the support, today was one of the most emotional days of my life. I miss my brother.
— Bode Miller (@MillerBode) February 16, 2014
But Miller is used to rising to the occasion: anything less wouldn’t have seen him take home five Olympic medals, five world championship medals, 33 World Cup victories, and two overall World Cup titles, after all. Let’s take a look back at Miller’s storied career and examine the moments that have made him the most successful male alpine skier of all time.
A top racer
Though Miller started out as a technical specialist in giant slalom and slalom skiing, he became a five-event skier in 2002, when he began competing in downhill events. After nabbing a pair of silver medals at the 2002 Winter Olympics, he established himself as a top racer for the U.S. Ski Team.
World Cup records
Miller won the slalom in Sestriere, Italy, in December 2004 and made history for winning at least one race in each of the four standard World Cup disciplines: slalom, giant slalom, super-G, and downhill. In doing so, Miller became only the second man in history to win all four disciplines during a single season; he also accomplished this feat in less time than any previous skier, male or female.
In 2005, Miller won his first overall World Cup championship, making him the first American skier to capture a title since 1983. At the end of an impressive 2008 season, Miller was crowned overall World Cup champion for the second time. He is also the leading American male for wins.
Dynamism on skis
An impressively versatile skier with incredible athleticism and balance, Miller has won nine U.S. Championship titles in a variety of disciplines including the giant slalom, super-G, and slalom. “When you back off, it’s easier to do mistakes,” he once said. “For me, it’s better to ski fast.”