On Thursday, the U.S. Ski Team announced its official roster for the 2017-2018 season, and one notable name was absent from the list of over 30 athletes: Bode Miller, the winningest male skier in U.S. history.
— NBC Sports (@NBCSports) May 25, 2017
As reported by the Washington Post, Miller is now listed as a U.S. Ski Team “alumni” on the team’s athlete page, which further calls into question whether the American ski legend will qualify for — or even attempt to race in — the 2018 Winter Olympics.
“I’m not going to say (Miller won't be at the Olympics), because it's Bode Miller,” U.S. men’s coach Sasha Rearick told the Washington Post about the roster announcement. “Who knows? But my expectations of that aren't high.”
The announcement doesn’t mean Miller is retiring from racing or the Olympics, as Miller can still race in the upcoming FIS World Cup season and qualify for the 2018 Olympics through his results.
However, the six-time Olympic medalist hasn’t raced professionally since severing a hamstring tendon during a World Cup race in February 2015.
In the time since, he has told the Associated Press that the chances of him returning for the 2018 Winter Olympics were “really unlikely,” he’s been blocked from competing in the 2016-2017 FIS World Cup season due to a legal dispute with his former ski sponsor (Head) and he’s given cryptic hints at fundraisers that he might return for the 2017-18 FIS World Cup season.
In December, Rearick stated that he expects Miller will race in the 2017 World Cup season, but on Thursday sounded less sure in his interview with the Washington Post.
“We've proposed to Bode several options for training and racing through the last year and especially this summer … in terms of trying to get him going again,” Rearick said. “The moving parts never lined up in the right way.”
Perhaps the single most polarizing figure in racing throughout his career, Miller has notched 33 World Cup wins, two overall titles, four World Ski Championships and six Olympic medals — more than any other American in history.
He has also quit the U.S. Ski Team while squabbling with coaches, admitted to competing while drunk and generally displayed a brash, all-or-nothing attitude in his professional life over his nearly 20-year career.
In recent years, Miller has been embracing life as a “stay at home dad” indulging his love of horse racing and famously becoming the oldest Olympic alpine skiing medalist ever in 2014 following the tragic loss of his brother in 2013.
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