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Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Bode Miller cries during interview; reporter Christin Cooper criticized for questions


Bode Miller salvaged what has been a disappointing trip to Sochi on Sunday by winning a bronze medal in the men’s super-G. The 36-year-old became the oldest alpine skier in Olympic history to win a medal. After the race, he was overcome with emotion when NBC’s Christin Cooper asked several questions about his late brother.

Miller’s brother Chelone was found dead last April after suffering an apparent seizure. He was 29. At the start of his interview with Cooper, Miller mentioned the passing of Chelone. You can see the full video of the interview here.

“This was a little different,” he said. “I think my brother passing away … I really wanted to come back here and race the way he sensed it. This was a little different.”

Miller was clearly fighting back tears after bringing up his brother. Cooper asked a follow-up question about the emotion he was showing. When he did not mention Chelone, she asked another question about him.

“I don’t now if it’s really for him, but I wanted to come here and, I guess, make myself proud,” Miller replied while fighting back tears.

Cooper then asked a question about how Miller looked up to the sky before the race and appeared as though he was speaking to someone. It was at that point that he lost control of his emotions and bent over, unable to finish the interview.

NBC and Cooper were blasted on Twitter after the interview aired. Many felt that Cooper pushed Miller too far and had no business asking so many questions about his late brother. Miller defended her on Twitter after hearing some of the backlash.

Later that evening, Miller sat down for an interview with NBC’s Matt Lauer. He was again asked about his emotion following the race.

“Today, in the start, I knew it was gonna be a close race,” Miller said, via Entertainment Weekly. “There’s not much separating the field in these, and me and my brother had talked about coming to the Olympics here together — he was trying to qualify. Right in the start gate, I was kinda like, ‘If you’re here with me’ — I know I bring a part of him with me everywhere I go — I said, ‘give me a couple hundredths today. Just, like, give me that little extra push. I’m gonna be sending it.’

“Everyone says, ‘Send it like Chilly,’ that’s kinda one of the mottos. I really wanted to ski my best. But I did kinda just connect those two in a way inside. And then for it to come down and be as close as it can possibly get in ski racing and end up with a medal was just kinda, I don’t know, it seemed kinda connected.”

I don’t know if Cooper’s questions can be classified as unfair, but the interview was obviously very uncomfortable. Miller was making an effort not to break down and it was almost as if Cooper wasn’t going to stop until he did. Kudos to Bode for defending her after all that.

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