Bode Miller is a legend of alpine skiing and though he officially retired in 2017 is still heavily involved in the ski industry.

Ski Club’s Peter Davies went to catch up with the American skier on the slopes of Trentino, Italy.

The snow was dumping down in Trentino when Bode Miller arrived in town. Despite the weather, Miller was here to rigorously test his Bomber skis in soft conditions. This attention to detail was what made him the superstar alpine skier we know.

Miller has won two overall World Cup titles, five World Championship medals and six Olympic medals in his illustrious career. He is the most successful male American ski racer of all-time and the 9th most successful male World Cup skier in history. This wasn’t necessarily what shot Miller to stardom though!

In part, it was his charisma, outspoken interviews and rock & roll ski style that fans loved. From riding the nets during his downhill run in Kitzbuhel, to forming his own ski team called Team America, there was always something exciting surrounding the World Cup legend.

When I first met him in Italy, he was surprisingly reserved, until you got him talking about skiing. His in-depth knowledge and continued passion for the sport were clear to see. Here is someone, that despite retiring from the sport back in 2017, now still skis for the fun of it. This is partly why he has formed Bomber Ski after his retirement, he just couldn’t stay away from skiing.

On the slopes is where the Olympian feels truly at home. Skiing with him you can still see his racing style shine through. High speeds, big angles and a lot of bravery. He would zip through soft snow like he was on a perfectly groomed piste. It was truly breath-taking to see someone with that skill and talent perform in front of your eyes.

During lunch, Miller explained what made Bomber Skis stand out from the rest: “I love cheap skis if they’re good but for the most part they’re not. I wanted to bring a high-quality product to the public.”

Most manufactured skis are made in China but professional ski racers mainly have their skis made in special factories in Europe depending on the company. Bomber Skis are now based in Italy and the US with the distribution not at a mass scale. This is purposely the case to create a specially designed product.

The American is not shy to say what he brings the company: “I’ve skied on the best, so I know what’s good. So when I’m testing the skis I know what to look out for and give feedback to my team.”

Like most sports stars, Miller was highly professional with the press throughout his visit, but you got a glimpse of the wild streak that fans have grown to love. Before my video interview, he downed a pint of beer and smiled at me. Why not! He is retired and married with children now, he deserves a beer or two.

Watch our interview with World Cup superstar Marcel Hirscher here.

The video interview went smoothly, and afterwards, I wanted to ask him a real ski racing nerd question. In 2008, I saw Miller race in the Bormio downhill, but for some reason, he wasn’t in the top 30 bib order. At the time, it was rumoured he missed the bib draw on purpose so the FIS would give him a later bib number therefore giving him better weather for his run.

I asked the American if this was the case: “Yes it was! We looked at the forecast and made that decision. Plus I hated those bib draws the night before they were always a pain. I hated having to be around FIS officials.”

“That race I should’ve won (he finished fourth)! If it wasn’t for a big mistake towards the bottom of the course, I would have been closer.”

There are so many stories like this from Miller’s ski career. Always thinking outside the box and questioning the authority of the governing body. This isn’t because he’s a trouble maker, it’s because he cares about his performance and how the sport is perceived by the public.

His opinion is still very much respected in the world of ski racing. After my Italy trip, he was off to Are, Sweden for the World Alpine Championships as a pundit for Eurosport. Normally I wouldn’t tune in this early for a race but Bode’s inside knowledge is a real treat for viewers. From picking the favourites to describing how equipment setup, weather and psychology plays a role on race day, his punditry really adds to the viewing experience.

I During our time in Trentino taking part in the Bode Miller Race it was great to get small nuggets of wisdom on how to improve your skiing through a Giant Slalom course.

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“In these conditions you need to ride with the rut instead of fighting the line, making your skis chatter like crazy.” This was Miller’s advice for me before I attempted my Giant Slalom run. Having an Olympic gold medallist critique your skiing was definitely a once in a lifetime experience.

Fans young and old around the mountain were delighted to even get a glimpse of the U.S. ski star. When he had time he would stop to sign helmets and chat to the public about skiing. A reminder that despite his retirement Miller still has a big following around the world. Especially here in the Italian Alps!

What I got from meeting Miller is that he still loves skiing for the pure fun of it. Whether it’s his World Cup punditry or his passion for Bomber Skis we will certainly still see Miller involved in the sport for many years to come!

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Bode miller's ski career in numbers

  • Overall World Cup titles – 2
  • World Cup discipline titles – 2 Super G, 1 Giant Slalom, 3 Combined
  • World Cup wins – 33
  • World Cup podiums – 79
  • World Championships competed in – 8x (1999-2015)
  • World Championship medals – 5 (4 gold)
  • Olympics competed in – 5 (1998-2014)
  • Olympic medals – 6 (1 gold)