Print

Print


To those that lament the fact that politics often interrupts the
scintillating discussion on equipment, waxing etc in the world of SkiVT-l, I
bring you this political interruption of skiing in the real world.

It would figure that someone with as much Talent,intelligence and moxy as
Bode would feel this way. Although it's hard to imagine how anyone could
think differently when a dunce from Texas has taken the country from Peace
and prosperity to War and economic dissaster in such a short time.

From the New York Times

U.S. View Doesn't Set Well With U.S. Star
By CHRISTOPHER CLAREY

ST. MORITZ, Switzerland, Feb. 13  It is a complicated, often awkward, time
to be an American in Europe, with tension rising because of a possible war
in Iraq. And though Bode Miller has had more reason to celebrate lately than
most Americans abroad  becoming the star of these world Alpine ski
championships by winning two gold medals and a silver medal  he has not
been focusing exclusively on his races.

At a news conference tonight, Miller was asked about Iraq and said he was
following developments on the BBC and CNN and did not agree with current
United States policy.

"In a way, it's depressing, because I'm represented by my government," he
said. "My government is who's representing me, even though I'm over here
representing my government, too, and I don't claim to be perfect by any
means, but I think I do a much better job of representing the U.S. than they
do of representing me."

Is that, he was asked, because of the Bush administration's tough line on
Iraq?

"I think in general, when you hear people from Germany relatively support
me; people from Austria, relatively; people from all over relatively," he
said. "People from all over don't relatively support or generally support
the U.S., and I don't think they are far off on that at all."

By the nature of his work, Miller is more attuned to foreign opinions than
the average American sports figure. The bulk of the World Cup skiing circuit
is in Western Europe, and Miller and his teammate Erik Schlopy rented out
part of a farmhouse in Austria in recent years to serve as a base. His
primary equipment sponsor is now the French company Rossignol.

Miller was also raised in a countercultural environment, living in a house
in the New Hampshire woods without electricity until age 10 and being
dropped off to ski early in the mornings and schooled at home by his parents
in the afternoons and evenings. He did not attend a conventional school
until the fourth grade.

Before these championships began, the Miller, 25, was already a primary
attraction in Europe, because of his flair on the slopes and his candor off
them. Now, after his three medals  more than any other skier has won here 
even more fans want his autograph. Even more reporters want a few minutes of
his time, and then a few minutes more.

There was a time when Miller's life on the ski circuit was much more calm,
but his breakthrough performance last season and his two silver medals in
the Winter Olympics have made him a public figure, particularly in countries
like Switzerland and Austria, where Alpine skiing is a major sport.

The veteran American skier Kristina Koznick was struck by the level of
Miller's popularity on Wednesday night as fans walked through the center of
St. Moritz to attend the medal ceremony for the giant slalom, which Miller
won in dramatic fashion.

"We were talking about how strange it is to be in a European country and
hear a group of Europeans come down the street chanting an American skier's
name," she said. "I don't think that has ever happened before. It's pretty
amazing. They were like, `Bode! Bode!' "

One fan on Wednesday even held up a sign in the finish area that said, "Bode
for President.`' Asked by a reporter tonight if that were a possibility, he
answered: "I really don't enjoy politics at all. I'm pretty disappointed
with my country right now, their ability to see reason and react to issues
the way that I think they should. But there is so little I can do personally
 that I am at the mercy of our government, like everybody, it seems like."

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
SkiVt-L is brought to you by the University of Vermont.

To unsubscribe, visit http://list.uvm.edu/archives/skivt-l.html