Bode Miller Shows Softer Side Post-Olympics Win

By ABC News

Feb 18, 2014 10:30am

ABC News’ Matt Gutman and Alison Kenworthy report:

SOCHI, Russia – It’s been a rollercoaster few days for Bode Miller, who earned his sixth Olympic medal on Monday and is the oldest alpine skier to ever medal. But it was his controversial breakdown after his win that has since been making headlines.

NBC anchor Christin Cooper was heavily criticized online for pushing the Olympian to tears by asking about his brother’s recent sudden death after Miller earned the bronze. Miller has since defended Cooper.

“I was just overwhelmed with emotion about everything. I don’t think it was Christin Cooper’s fault, and I don’t blame NBC. It was just a heavy moment for me,” Miller said on “Good Morning America.” “Just the slightest mention of the loss of my brother was enough to open the floodgates.”

Miller told “Access Hollywood” that before the race he was he was looking up at the sky and thinking of his brother, who died suddenly last April of a seizure.

“I talk before: ‘I know you’re with me—let’s make it count,’” Miller said to “Access Hollywood.” “It was special to have that.”

Miller has a good support system at the games, relying on his professional volleyball-playing wife to comfort him during this time. “My wife is critical for me,” he said.

Used to making headlines in his now fifth Olympics, Miller said the Sochi games have been particularly difficult following his injury.

“It was a real question mark for myself and everyone else, especially coaches and staff, after that surgery. I had the microfractures, which is really pretty fickle, especially at my age and the abuse I had on my knees,” Miller said. “It was really a focus goal for about two years, and that allowed me to be patient and take things slow enough to avoid the real risk of injury.”

With two events to go, Miller said he is using his experience to combat confusing weather conditions.

“We were out skiing and it was pouring rain on the bottom [of the mountain], freezing rain in the middle and snowing really hard on the top it,” Miller said. “Outdoor sports are different, and it’s how to adjust to those conditions. I use my experience to adjust to the elements, but it’s going to be tough.”

It’s unclear whether these will be the last games for Miller, who is focusing on these last few events of this year’s Olympics.

“I tried to quit a long time ago and here I am still. I’ve learned to not make decisions until I know what they are. I still love skiing, and I’m still fit and mentally I feel like I’m capable of winning,” Miller said. “It’s tough, though. It’s a long way away. I’ll be 40 years old [at the next Olympics], and I feel pretty old right now.”

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