ABC News’ Matt Gutman and Matt Knox report:
Alpine skiers Bode Miller and Ted Ligety are Team USA teammates with at least two things in common: their quest for gold at the Sochi Olympics and their rivalry.
“We’re super competitive, whether it’s skiing or playing basketball,” Ligety told ABC News.
Ligety, 29, was the 2006 Olympic gold medalist and is the reigning world champion in the super-combined. Miller, 36, is the defending Olympic champion in the event, having won gold in Vancouver.
Beyond their domination of the sport, Ligety and Miller have few parallels between them.
Miller is known for his defiantly unconventional style that focuses on speed, sometimes at the expense of his own safety, while Ligety is known for a precisely technical approach.
Ligety is a Utah native who went to an elite boarding school, while Miller was home schooled until third grade in his parent’s New Hampshire cabin with no electricity.
Those different backgrounds have continued to distinguish the two skiers as they each rose to fame in their sport.
Miller became a household name at the 2002 Olympics in Salt Lake City, where he won two silver medals, millions of dollars in endorsement deals and gained a reputation as a playboy.
Though he is now married to professional volleyball player Morgan Beck, Miller’s personal life continues to be fodder for headlines thanks to a custody dispute with his ex-girlfriend so bitter that they don’t agree on the name of their 9-month-old son.
Ligety, on the other hand, leads a more low-profile life with his girlfriend, Mia Pascoe, though he too has endorsement deals, including Kellogg’s.
On Friday, the two men will leave their personal lives behind to face off in the super-combined race and at least one analyst gives the odds to Ligety.
“Bode Miller is an old guy for an alpine skier,” said Jeremy Schaap of ESPN. “Ted Ligety is at the peak of his powers. You have to like his chances.”