BEAVER CREEK, Colo. — Six-time Olympic medalist Bode Miller was forced to pull out of the FIS Alpine World Ski Championships last night, following a harrowing crash during the Super-G race on the slopes of Beaver Creek, Colorado.
Miller, who was competing for the first time since having back surgery nine weeks ago, was in the lead at the halfway point when his arm caught on a gate, sending him tumbling down the hill.
“Bode was skiing outstanding,” said U.S. Ski Team coach Sasha Rearick. “[He] was putting down a run that inspired America, inspires the world.”
Although he managed to ski down to the finish to wave to appreciative fans, one of his skis had sliced a huge gash in his calf. The injury required surgery to repair a severed hamstring tendon.
On his Twitter account, Miller released a photo after the procedure and wrote: “Feeling lucky since things could have been way worse.”
Out of a successful surgery for a severed hamstring tendon. Feeling lucky since things could have been way worse. pic.twitter.com/1jKhhDSRR9
— Bode Miller (@MillerBode) February 6, 2015
His injury is expected to take at least two months to heal and has raised speculation that this may have been the last race of his career. Two days before the race, Miller didn’t directly answer the question about retirement, but said that with the impending birth of his third child, it’s unlikely he would continue with the rigorous travel schedule of training and competing.
As Miller explained it, “The commitment it takes to be at the top in this sport is pretty extreme and I think that level of selfishness is just not in the cards for me.”
Thursday on the PBS NewsHour, we looked at the U.S. Ski Team’s hopes for big medal wins and greater recognition at the Alpine World Ski Championships. Watch that video above.