Out for the season, but hopeful for Sochi 2014
Mammoth’s junior team racers received a special treat last Wednesday, Jan. 16 when champion skier, Bode Miller, made a surprise slopeside appearance at Mammoth Mountain. The sometime controversial ski racer sat down and talked to the junior team racers about his trials and tribulations in the ski industry.
Dozens of eager kids were excited to meet Miller on Wednesday, many of them with the ambition of one day following in his tracks. Miller is an Olympic and World Championship gold medalist, and two-time overall World Cup champion (2005 & 2008).
Miller admitted that he hadn’t been back to Mammoth in many years, but applauded the program as one of the best in the country. It was a short, but sweet session with the kids of Mammoth’s race team, and one that they will remember for years to come. During the session, the kids asked Miller questions about his career, his personal life, and even his diet. Ever wondered what a professional ski racer eats before a big race? Nothing!
His nerves get the best of him and keep his appetite to a minimum, but he did talk about the importance of staying properly hydrated on race days.
His advice to the kids for off-season training was plenty of plyometrics, short interval training, and using weights to strengthen their hamstrings, backs, and abdomens, to help prevent injuries. He encouraged the kids to never give up and stay committed to whatever it is they put their mind to. He’s a big proponent of knowing the rules of the race, yet also stressed the importance of pushing the limits, something he is well known for.
Miller grew up skiing on the East Coast where he described the snow as hard and fast, which “takes a different style of skiing.” He said his favorite run on Mammoth is Cornice, especially on powder days. He humbly explained that he was not always the best skier and that his coaches even tried to convince him to switch to snowboarding, but with dedication and commitment to skiing, by the time he turned 18 he was stronger, faster, and winning almost every race in which he competed.
Unfortunately, the 35-year-old Miller will be out of the start gate for the remainder of this season due to an injured left knee. He has decided to take it easy to allow his knee to heal for a chance at another Olympic gold in Sochi next year (his fifth and final Olympic appearance). Miller described his dedication to the sport and his motivation to making next year a memorable one. In the meantime, he’s sharing his love of the sport with the next generation of skiers.
Miller currently resides in San Diego with his wife and four-year-old daughter where they enjoy tennis, golf, and fishing. –LAK/MMSA
(Photo courtesy MMSA)