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February 12, 2003, 8:36 AM EST

ST. MORITZ, Switzerland -- Bode Miller won the
giant slalom Wednesday, becoming the first
American man to win three medals in a world
championship and the first to capture two golds.

Erik Schlopy added to an outstanding day for the
United States by winning the bronze medal. This
marked the first time American men placed two
skiers among the top three at a world championship.

"Two podiums for Americans -- we've been waiting
for this a long time and for it to happen at the world
championship is amazing," said Miller, who also won
the combined and shared the silver in the super giant
slalom.

Hans Knauss of Austria won the silver medal
Wednesday.

Miller was fourth after the first run and Schlopy
22nd, but both surged down the sun-drenched
Engiadina course in the second leg.

"I am just enjoying it," an exhausted Miller said after
crossing the finish line of the long course. "Today
was really tough and really special, to see Erik ski the
way he can."

Schlopy led the race until Miller's run.

"I must thank Bode, he motivates me," Schlopy said.
"I thought he'd win a medal and so I had to win a
medal, too."

Miller's total time for the two runs was 2 minutes,
45.93 seconds, beating Knauss by 0.03 seconds.
Schlopy was 0.04 behind Miller, losing the silver by
0.01 seconds.

The Americans have six medals with three races left
in the championship, one behind Austria. Miller
thinks the pile of medals might keep growing.

"They are going to sit there and wait for friends to
join them," he said. "I am starting quite a collection in
my room right now."

Defending champion Michael von Gruenigen of
Switzerland, third after the first run, skied after Miller
and dropped behind. So did Benjamin Raich of
Austria, second after the first heat.

Only first-run leader Knauss managed to squeeze
himself between the two Americans.

Ales Gorza of Slovenia was a surprising fourth.
Aksel-Lund Svindal of Norway was fifth, Kalle
Palander of Finland sixth and von Gruenigen seventh

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