American alpine skiing legend Bode Miller calls it quits

After six Olympic medals across five winter Olympic Games, alpine skier Bode Miller is retiring ahead of the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Games.

The most decorated American Olympic skier in history, the 40-year-old made it official recently, announcing that he would be heading to the Olympics in South Korea as an analyst for NBC rather than a competitor.

“It’ll be my first one where I’m not competing, which will be fun,” Miller told Graham Bensinger.

The New Hampshire native last raced in the 2015 World Championships at Beaver Creek, Colorado, crashing and severing his hamstring tendon in one of the more harrowing crashes in recent alpine memory.

The most decorated American Olympic skier in history. Photo: Courtesy of Red Bull Content Pool

Before that accident, Miller put together one of the most impressive resumes in competitive ski history, winning two overall World Cup titles (in 2005 and 2008), in addition to six World Cup discipline titles and an Olympic downhill gold medal in 2010 (the first American to do so since Tommy Moe in 1984).

Known for his fearless skiing, Miller was often the most entertaining racer on the World Cup circuit, win or lose. He made a habit of miraculously saving his run from certain crashes, including skiing up and along course safety fencing during the 2008 World Cup stop in Kitzbuhel, Austria.

But Miller's bold approach also made the American a lightning rod off the course, including with his own national team. While competing in the Super-G, giant slalom, and downhill, Miller had several falling outs with the U.S. Ski Team. In 2007, Miller left the team and competed as an independent, claiming an overall championship in 2008 before returning to the team in 2009.

Miller is throwing in the towel. Photo: Courtesy of Tom Kelly

Miller's latest tiff came in 2016 when he terminated his contract with then-ski sponsor HEAD, opting to race for Bomber Skis, an independent ski company out of Manhattan started by multi-millionaire and real estate developer Robert Siegel. He unsuccessfully sued the company in the same year.

In spite of being left off the U.S. Ski Team roster since last May, Miller never officially ruled out racing in the 2018 Olympics. For some, that meant there was a chance for Miller to compete in his sixth Olympic Games. That dream ended with his recent announcement.

His retirement puts a dent in the U.S. men’s chance at a ski medal in 2018, though the United States received good news as World Champion Ted Ligety returned to racing this month, a full year after suffering a back injury last December.

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