U.S. skier Bode Miller won the bronze medal on Sunday in the super-G, earning him his sixth ever medal in the Winter Olympics. However, his post-race interview has generated a lot more buzz than what he did on the course.
Following the competition, former skier Christin Cooper spoke to Miller about his accomplishment. The interview was dominated by questions about Miller’s brother, Chelone, who died in April 2013. Miller struggled to talk about his brother, with tears streaming down his face, and eventually broke down crying, unable to answer any more questions.
Chelone Miller, nicknamed “Chilly,” was hoping to compete in the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. He died after suffering a seizure.
Since the interview aired, Cooper and NBC have been under heavy criticism for going too far. The network seemingly didn’t have any issues with what Cooper did, considering they broadcasted it on tape delay several hours after it was recorded. Miller later went on Twitter to defend the former Olympian and current NBC correspondent.
“I appreciate everyone sticking up for me” Miller tweeted. “Please be gentle w christin cooper, it was crazy emotional and not all her fault. #heatofthemoment”
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When Miller began to break down, Cooper quickly apologized and comforted the American. Below is a transcript and video of the interview.
Cooper: Bode, such an extraordinary accomplishment, at your age, after a turbulent year, coming back from knee surgery, to get this medal today, put it in perspective. How much does this mean to you?
Miller: I mean it's incredible. I always feel like I'm capable of winning medals but as we've seen this Olympics it's not that easy. To be on the podium, this was a really big day for me. Emotionally, I had a lot riding on it. Even though I really didn't ski my best, I'm just super super happy.
Cooper: For a guy who says that medals don't really matter, that they aren't the thing, you've amassed quite a collection. What does this one mean to you in terms of all the others?
Miller: This was a little different. You know with my brother passing away, I really wanted to come back here and race the way he sensed it. This one is different.
Cooper: Bode, you're showing so much emotion down here, what's going through your mind?
Miller: Um, I mean, a lot. Obviously just a long struggle coming in here. It's just a tough year.
Cooper: I know you wanted to be here with Chelly, really experiencing these games. How much does this mean to you to come up with this great performance for him? And was it for him?
Miller: I don't know if it's really for him but I wanted to come here and, I dunno, make myself proud.
Cooper: When you're looking up in the sky at the start, we see you there and it looks like you're talking to somebody. What's going on there?