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Bode Miller, channeling Brett Favre, returns to skiing and U.S. ski team

September 24, 2009 | 12:20 pm

Miller

Bode Miller confirmed today that he is rejoining the U.S. ski team for the 2009-10 season and hopes to ski in the 2010 Olympics.

"I can relate to Brett Favre,'' Miller said. "You dedicate your life to it, and you can see how it would be nice to walk away and try something new. And then you walk away and there is obviously a big hole left where that sport was, especially in my case, [because] it is my main form of expression.''

Miller, 31, had skipped the final month of the 2009 World Cup season to reassess his future. The independent team he founded -- and funded -- before the 2008 season disbanded at winter's end.

"To have Bode come back to the family is extremely exciting,'' U.S. men's alpine head coach Sasha Rearick said at a news conference today in Los Angeles announcing Miller's decision to ski at least another season and rejoin a team he left two years ago after constantly battling its officials (see post immediately below). "I'm looking forward to have Bode step up as a leader, leading by his actions.''

Miller admitted to not being in good enough shape for the World Cup season opener Oct. 25 in Soelden, Austria. Plans call for him to join the circuit three weeks later in Levi, Finland.

"Coming into the season in not the best shape is kind of a scary proposition, but I think we are ready to make a real positive move,'' said Miller, who has won two Olympic silver medals, two World Cup overall titles and four world championship titles in his brilliant but controversial career.

Miller said he intended to compete at the 2010 Winter Olympics if he makes the U.S. team. Miller, whose behavior while winning no medals at the 2006 Games was widely criticized, called U.S. Olympic Committee Chairman Larry Probst to say he would do his best to avoid a repeat of that.

"The intention was to come back and try to make everything positive, so it doesn't turn into any kind of regurgitation of the past,'' Miller said.

In a statement, Probst said he appreciated Miller's desire "to look forward and not backward and to focus on what it means to represent the United States as an ambassador for sport and for the Olympic Movement.''

-- Philip Hersh

Photo: Bode Miller looks on during a press conference in Los Angeles on Thursday. Credit: Reed Saxon / Associated Press

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