Two-time World Cup overall champion Bode Miller was named Thursday to the U.S. Ski Team and will compete this coming season on the Audi FIS World Cup. Miller has skied independently the last two years, winning his second overall World Cup title in 2007-08. The U.S. Ski Team and Miller made the announcement in a joint press conference at the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
"This is a tremendous opportunity for Bode, the U.S. Ski Team and the sport of ski racing. We look forward to working with Bode on the Audi FIS World Cup and the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver," U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association President and CEO Bill Marolt said.
According to U.S. Ski Team Head Men's Alpine Coach Sasha Rearick, Miller has committed to the U.S. Ski Team program. "Bode is committed to the Team and the Team looks forward to helping Bode achieve personal greatness," Rearick said. "Because Bode is such a great competitor he's going to challenge everyone on the Team to push their personal limits and strive for greater performances. I look forward to Bode being a positive team member and leader.
"Our men's Team the last two years has grown into a close-knit family – we help each other be successful. Having proven veterans like Ted Ligety, Marco Sullivan, Steven Nyman, Scott Macartney and Bode all training and racing together will help all of us. This is a group of strong leaders that Bode has trained and raced with throughout his career."
"I am excited to be back with the guys and the Team. We've had great success together," Miller said. "I look forward to taking advantage of the great program we have in place."
Miller's teammates are excited at his return as he looks to be a source of excitement and encouragement in both training and racing.
"I think it's sweet that Bode's coming back on the Team. He has so much speed and his skiing is so innovative. It's going to be a huge advantage for us to be able to train with him on a regular basis," said 2006 Olympic gold medalist Ted Ligety.
"I think he will bring his usual speed and intensity to the group, which could be a nice catalyst for all of us," Marco Sullivan added.
Miller was named to the Team based on his results from last season. Like all other athletes, he will need to qualify for a slot on the Olympic Team based on 2010 season results. The Olympic Team will be named January 26.
"Bode is a tremendously talented athlete, and he will bring great excitement and passion to the sport – and should he qualify – to our 2010 U.S. Olympic Team," USOC Chairman Larry Probst said. "I appreciate Bode's wishes 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. The U.S. Olympic Committee supports Bode's return to the U.S. Ski Team and wishes him success in his journey to qualify for the U.S. Olympic Team."
The Team will begin working with Miller immediately. The four-time World Champion Miller did not set a return to competition date. He is not expected to compete in the Oct. 25 Audi FIS World Cup season opener in Soelden, Austria but is hopeful to be at the Audi Birds of Prey World Cup Dec. 2-6 in Beaver Creek, CO.