Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Biggest Disappointment of 2006: Bode Miller

Bode Miller came into the Turin Olympics as the most hyped athelete, sure to win gold at multiple downhill events. But after several disappointing runs, including a disqualification and a DNF, Bode disappointed American and enraged the entire country.

To me, the athletes at the Olympics never really let their countries down. The Olympic movement is about as idealistic as the Nike advertising budget. So I didn't really have a problem with this slalom slacker partying it up "olympically" (yes, Bode found a way to turn the Olympics into an adverb) till dawn. But, geez, this guy has a big mouth. Earlier, before the Olympics, Bode told 60 Minutes, Time, Rolling Stone, and Newsweek that he frequently was drunk off his ass on the day of a race. While, I didn't think that was that bad, he went on to say a few weeks later that Lance Armstrong, Barry Bonds and a lot of other athletes "knowingly" cheated by taking performance-enhancing drugs. OMG. Is there a mute button on this guy?

To be fair, who wouldn't want to live the life that Bode lives? In 2005, he became the first American to win skiing's overall World Cup title in 22 years. What does that mean? Simply put, he's the best skier on the planet. And to get paid over a million dollars year to kick ass at skiing, while partying hard in some of the coolest towns in the world and meeting lots of girls is a life that I'm sure many guys would kill for. When he left Turin, he told reporters:
"The expectations were other people's. I'm comfortable with what I've accomplished, including at the Olympics. I wanted to have fun here, to enjoy the Olympic experience, not be holed up in a closet and not ever leave your room. I got to party and socialize at an Olympic level. I just did it my way. I'm not a martyr, and I'm not a do-gooder. I just want to go out and rock. And man, I rocked here."
Ok, he's not a martyr. I'll give him that. And I don't really mind that all he really got accomplished at the Olympics was lots of drinking and getting laid. In fact part of me applauds him for being real and unapologetic for his desire to just have fun. He was actually kind of endearing. But you won't see me proudly displaying my Bode Miller jersey anytime soon because Bode and his "Let's go get a beer!" mantra got old really fast. Like you do when you drink, I think Bode should have been thinking moderation. Before the Olympics, Bode was charmed with the image of a normal all-American (and can I say HOT) guy blessed with limitless skiing talent. But he really abused that image by showing up to races wasted, making moronic statements to the media, and just acting like a complete ass. I think the whole world including his own fellow Americans began to just see him as another selfish American, another potent symbol of our self-satisfied society.

I have nothing against athletes who are human, rather than sport-playing robots. But I do have a problem with spoiled famous people who act passive aggressive and whine that all they want is to be left alone. In Bode's words:
"Some people say I make mistakes. i just say that in fact this is the secret of enjoying life. I hate monotony. Why don't they leave me freedom of choice? People want to impose choices which aren't necessarily mine. That's the mistake people make."
What bugs me so much about Bode Miller in 2006 is that he just came off as a complete and utter retard, and an ungrateful one at that. His whole performance just smacked of no effort, while some poor guy is sitting back home in the U.S. wanted to kick Bode's ass for losing his spot to a guy who acts like he isn't even trying. And furthermore, cheering for him would be a pointless exercise because I would want to to extend any of my expectations on him, since Bode only listens to what Bode wants to do, and not anyone else.

Anyhow, if there's a silver lining to all of this, at least Bode didn't ask more from others than he was willing to contribute himself. He really just acted like a jackass last year, which is ironic, since a jackass would have done better than he did at the Olympics.

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