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Thanks to his performance in Vancouver, Bode Miller has traded in his moniker as the bad boy of skiing for a new one: the most decorated U.S. male ski racer in history. The New Hampshire native, who won gold, silver and bronze medals in the 2010 Winter Olympic Games, expects to continue competing on the World Cup circuit and hasn’t ruled out coming back for a fourth Olympics visit in Russia in 2014. Dressed in jeans, a woven tattersall shirt, a Nike USA ball cap and sneakers, the athlete visited New York City last week on behalf of Hublot, the Swiss-based watch brand, which renewed its association with Miller through 2011. For the recently completed Games, Hublot created a special limited edition Bode Bang watch, which sold out all 250 pieces at $15,900 each. Chief executive officer Jean-Claude Biver said Hublot plans to produce another special Bode-themed watch for his next trip down the slopes.
WWD: Are you satisfied with what you accomplished at the Olympics or do you feel you have more to prove?
Bode Miller: No, I’m always satisfied. I didn’t go there with something to prove. It would have been a loss if I’d missed that opportunity to do the Olympics again. I was fit, I was ready and I was strong enough, whereas, in Torino, I felt there was a lot of negative energy. I didn’t want to really be there. I didn’t like the way the IOC [International Olympic Committee] and the USOC [U.S. Olympic Committee] were using me to forward their own goals. I wasn’t in alignment with them, and I clearly said in the month leading up to the Games that I didn’t really want to be there, but I just didn’t have any other option. This time, I had full choice. There was a lot less negative stuff. Once you have a good feeling about it, it’s a personal choice whether you want to go or not. I thought it would be a real loss if I didn’t go.
This story first appeared in the April 29, 2010 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
WWD: Do you plan to continue to compete?
B.M.: It’s what’s in the works right now. I’m in the process of talking to my team and my sponsors and trying to figure it out. I think I’ll continue to do something at some level, but I’m not sure I’ll race the full World Cup circuit. It’s pretty exhausting. Most guys only race one event, like slalom, and that would be 10 races a year. Or giant slalom, that would be eight races a year. But if you do all the events like I do, that’s 45 races a year. It starts in October and goes through March. You really have to start training hard in July and August, so it’s nine months, which is too much.
WWD: Do you plan to stick around for the next Olympics?
B.M.: I don’t know. Four years is a long time. It’s hard to say, but it’s not impossible. Fitnesswise I feel good, I don’t have any real chronic injuries, so you never know.
WWD: What do you do when you’re not on the slopes?
B.M.: I have a boat in San Diego that I’ve been living on and working on fixing up. I have a lot of things around my charity [the Turtle Ridge Foundation]. It’s not incredibly time-consuming but I have to keep traveling back to New Hampshire. I go to different events around the country to help out with other foundations. And I play soccer and tennis and golf and fishing.
WWD: Tell me a little bit about your personal style, what you like to wear.
B.M.: I get most of my stuff for free so I don’t do a lot of shopping, so it ends up being a functional wardrobe more than anything else. I have to wear certain brands to represent sponsors. That takes a little of the fun out of it. I don’t really get to choose and buy my own stuff, but I’m pretty casual. But I’m comfortable wearing anything. I’m not very image oriented, so it makes it nice. I can wear whatever I want and not be concerned that everyone is laughing.
WWD: What jeans are you wearing?
B.M.: These are Levi’s. I also like True Religion a lot. I like Armani. A lot of companies don’t make jeans for athletes very well. We have a bigger butt and bigger thighs. I think there’s less of an effort to adapt to our body type than to a woman’s.
WWD: Do you wear the Bode Bang watch while you are racing?
B.M.: Not while I’m racing, but I usually have it at the finish. If I hook a gate with it, it can break off and make me fall, and I try to stay away from that.