Talkative Bode Miller says "I'm psyched...I'm ready to win."
Is this the new Bode?
It sure seemed like it.
Miiller, now 32, is preparing for his fourth Olympics. He won double silver at the 2002 Salt Lake Games but failed to medal four years ago in Turin, leaving Italy as a skiing scourge.
Miller seems to have entered the Vancouver Games with a renewed attitude after rejoining the U.S. Ski Team in September. He is scheduled to race all five disciplines in Whistler.
Miller got a kick when someone suggested he was flying under the radar for these Olympics.
"Everyone's on the radar here," he said. "If one of you guys (reporters) were to come up and race, that might be under the radar."
Miller, the all-time American leader in World Cup wins with 32, admits that conditioning has an issue this year after he returned to the team following a seven-month layoff. He is rounding into shape, though, having won a World Cup combined event in Wengen last month.
"It was a unique challenge to try to get in shape while I was racing," he said.
MIller will get his first shot at gold in Saturday's downhill--if the race goes off as scheduled. Several skiers were unable to complete Wednesday's first training run because of fog on the hill. It was drizzling rain in Whistler most of the day and the forecast for the next couple of days is dicey.
American downhiller Marco Sullivan said that Canada's Manuel Osborne-Paradis, a top medal favorite, has a saying about racing here: "Whistler Weather. You wake up in the morning, look out the window and see what it is."
Switzerland's Didier Cuche won Wednesday's abbreviated training run with a time of 1 minute 53.22. Miller was the top American, finishing sixth, nearly a second off Cuche's time.
-- Chris Dufrense
Photo: Bode Miller. Credit: George Frey / EPA